First off, what a fantastic game last night between the Minnesota Lynx and the Detroit Shock. Just when it looked like the Lynx were going to walk away with the win in the 4th quarter, Deanna Nolan went crazy with the 3-pointers sending the game to OT where the Shock went on to beat the Lynx.

This is a really short clip. But the more I think about it, the more I don't like the idea of jamming the outlet or trapping the rebounder after a missed shot. Anytime you make an aggressive play like that, it's a risk/reward type deal. In my opinion, the risk of giving up an easy basket as a result of the jam/trap is not worth the reward which is the occasional chance to slow the other team's fast break. I know, it probably appears like I'm selectively picking a sequence just to prove my point, but I've seen this sequence play out more often than what the jam/trap was intended to do. Take a look,

Fast Break off Jam the Rebound:

In theory, if executed properly, the trap on the rebounder should force a TO, either a bad pass, travel or 5 second call. The problem here, specifically, is that Candice Wiggins of the Lynx is too quick of a ball handler to trap. Especially when she hasn't started her dribble yet. She gets around her defenders and it's basically a 5-on-3 break,

Even if they didn't double-team her, I still think the trap on the rebounder wouldn't be very effective. Wiggins would continue beating her defender off the dribble and it would be a 5-on-4 break.


I think that in some very specific cases, jamming the rebounding may be effective. Maybe against a team that had a prolific outlet passer like Kevin Love, it may work to jam him so that he can't make that long baseball pass. But otherwise, I think traditional, run back to your own key is a better way for transition defense.

On the flip side, if I'm on offense and the other team is jamming my rebounders, I'm telling them to break to the middle of the floor and take advantage of numbers. Turn the other team's aggressiveness against them by getting out in transition. If you're a transition team, jamming the outlet really shouldn't prevent you from still running, and in fact will probably work to your advantage if you are quicker than the other team.

For more on transition defense, you should check out Chris Lowery's new DVD on Transition Defense and Halfcourt M2M. Coach Lowery is the brains behind the Southern Illinois tenacious defense. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk about this and your favorite basketball topics.