This is a wonderful sequence and the key play in the victory by the Indiana Pacers over the Washington Wizards tonight. It starts with a great defensive play and leads to the 3-pointer the other way, a 5-point swing if you think about it.

Basketball is a weird game, you play 40 or 48 minutes, score 80-100 points, and its funny that one sequence can come to define a game, momentum is such a big part of basketball. I've coached many a game where in looking back, there was that one key play that changed everything. Anyways, watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

I've always felt that all great basketball plays have started out on defense, and it's no surprise that I'm really at heart, a defensive kind of coach. This sequence starts out that way with the tremendous block by David Harrison, can't say enough about that help-side block. This leads to a fast-break 3-pointer the other way executed beautifully by the Pacers. Here is how it breaks down,

I actually think the Wizards defended this play quite well, they get back into transition D very well and setup the triangle (if 2 players, setup an I). O2 penetrates and draws X1 and X2. O1 and O3 (Dunleavy) spread the floor beautifully.

After penetrating, O2 reverses the ball to O1. Notice how X3 comes up to cover O1 and X1 instead goes under to cover O3 (Dunleavy). Like I said, the Wizards actually play good transition D, as X3 communicates to X1 to cover Dunleavy. Finally the ball is reversed to Dunleavy in the corner who nails the 3-pointer as the recovery is too late.

Another great thing I like is how Dunleavy checks his feet to ensure he is behind the 3-point line (replay and pause the video to see for yourself again) before getting the pass. At the lower levels, you see a lot of long 2-pointers because players aren't aware of where the 3-point line is. These are the little things that you need to teach your players, they make a huge difference.

For fast-breaks, I love coach Roy William's DVD on his Offensive Philosophy. Coach Williams is the one behind the legendary Kansas fast break. For notes and other stuff, check out The X's and O's of Basketball Forum.