FanPost

A Running Team should Know How to Finish the Fast Break

I was lucky enough to take "Advanced Basketball" at Chemeketa Community College when Rick Adelman still coached those pre-eminent Chieftan teams. When we weren't playing full court, five-on-five on assigned teams, Coach Adelman had us running drills.

He ran us through different full court passing weaves until we were good enough to bring them off against pressure. And when we failed to make the right pass or missed lay-ins, there might well be hell to pay.

We practiced 3-on-2 fast breaks, with the third defender entering the play from out of bounds through the jump circle at mid-court. And if you didn't score in transition, that counted as a turnover, and the ball went the other way.

[As an aside, Adelman liked to defend 3-on-2's with one man picking up the ball above the foul line while the other man defended at the basket, ready to deny either wing man the easy lay-up. I don't know why I don't see more teams defend it this way.]

We used what we learned with our teammates in a season-ending tournament. By then we knew where our teammates wanted the ball, and we knew how to finish at the rim.

The Blazers are supposed to be a running team this season. But how can you be a running team if you don't know how to finish a fast break?

Others might tell you different. But of all the mistakes and missed shots down the stretch, the mistakes that cost the Blazers the Sacramento game were made in transition with numbers. Where the Blazers, if they are going to be a running team, have got to learn how to finish.

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