Above is a tremendous video from Chris Oliver from the University of Windsor (Ontario) breaking down their transition defense system. This video is taken from a blog post entitled “Defensive Transition: Everything You Wanted to Know” that Chris posted on his website Basketball Immersion. Chris’ site has been quickly become my favorite coaching resource with a ton of great videos and articles breaking down specific elements of coaching. Below I pasted Oliver’s transition defense checklist as well as a link to the full blog post (which features another good video from Andrej Lemanis, head coach of the Australian National Team.
What and How I Teach Defensive Transition?
We have five defensive transition responsibilities for our players.
1. Get to the Ball
The player covering the ball should gap, not get beat and slow the ball down by bluffing and recovering at the ball.
2. Cover the Basket
The first post back releases the get back player who initially covers the rim.
The first post back is responsible for covering the middle runner and any offensive post player at the basket.
3. Fill the Slant
The player in the slant prevents the ball from splitting two defenders into the middle of the floor.
They should be deeper than the ball and in a ‘ball, you, check’ positioning.It is easier to stop the ball from the slant because their check is usually behind the ball so we want to take advantage of this numbers advantage.
4. Deny the Ballside Wing
We want to prevent any hit ahead passes to the ballside wing. The second guard back gets to the ballside wing and denies.
We also don’t want help off the ballside wing so this fits our defensive philosophy.
Our rationale is the ball moves slower up the floor off the dribble so we want to force the dribble middle into our help.
5. Cover the Weakside (The Get Back)
The get back player is responsible for the basket until the first post back releases them of that responsibility. They usually then cover the weakside wing.
An important teaching point is to remind this player to remain in help and not recover to their check as they are on the helpside of the floor.
We designate the get back player. Typically it is our point guard but we have had point guards who are better offensive rebounders than our other guards so a communication happens to designate who is responsible.