Transition starts with the release of the shot. Specific assignments (e.g. 1 and 2 as primary defenders) determine defensive consistency.
- The defenders should be at top speed within three steps.
- Beat your assignment to half court.
- One goal is to prevent the ball from passing midcourt uncontested.
- Sprint don't run.
- Strategically make choices about bothering the outlet pass or defending the outlet receiver to slow transition.
- Protect the basket as a primary concern.
- "The ball scores." Stop the score, not your man as your primary concern.
- Communicate who is stopping the ball.
- Don't concern yourselves with officials, your missed shot, or fans as you convert to defense.
- Shape up 'geometrically' in tandem, triangle, or square to form up the defense.
- Be aware of the shooters.
- When 'shaping up' in the paint (e.g. triangle) have one foot in the lane but prepare to react to the three-point line perimeter shooters.
- No "buddy running," mindlessly running with an assignment.
- Getting back is not enough. Get bank and defend with purpose.
- Next to denying layups, the defense should prevent uncontested threes.
Starts with 3 on 2 attack. When the ball crosses midcourt, the "sideline" defender comes into play. When the defense controls the rebound (or the offense scores), defense goes to offense, and the shooter goes to become the sideline defender at midcourt. New defenders (X4, X5) step in after the initial run.
Coach (C) enters the ball and calls out two numbers (e.g. 4, 5) who must retreat to baseline and then hustle back to defend. Offense attacks 5 on 3 with urgency.