One member of the team on offense stands behind the line (baseline or sideline, depending on where the ball is being inbounded) and throws the ball to a teammate standing on the other side of the line. Once the exchange is completed, the ball has officially been put in play. At no point during the inbounding process can the player receiving or throwing the pass step over the line. While this is unlikely to happen in a game, especially the professional level, the infraction results in a loss of possession.
The other type of entry pass is the post entry pass, in which the offense seeks to give the ball to a player standing in the post (painted area inside the three-point line). It is performed when the offense is in a 'half court set,' meaning they have crossed the midline of the court and are looking to beat the defense in a 5-on-5 situation. The ball handler will look to bounce-pass the ball into the post, which is usually occupied by a taller player (power forward or center) that is facing away from the basket. Once the pass is completed, it opens up a number of options for the offense. The receiving player, who is known in possession of the ball close to the basket, can either try to make a move on the defender for an easy score or pass the ball out to an open teammate behind the three-point line if the several defenders collapse in on the player.
It is important for the player standing in the post to get leverage by using the body to keep the defender pinned underneath the basket. Proper technique allows for open space should the player decide to shoot the ball, in addition to preventing the defender from reaching around and stealing the entry pass.