We talk alot about X's and O's, but sometimes basketball is as simple as: play good defense, and run the court. The wrote about the Los Angeles Sparks earlier in the month where I saw the Sparks try to be a more uptempo game.

Last night, the Sparks made a big run in the second half and it was just that. Good defense, and running the court to open up the fast break. Good defense, leading to good offense, it's as simple as that.


When you play good half-court defense, more often than not, you can turn that into a fast break the other way. You stop the ball, rebound the ball, the outlet,

Don't forget those trailers. On the dribble break, watch Candace Parker trailing the play. You never know what's going to happen on the break, so it's important to have the trailer that can either take a pass or followup a miss.


The Sparks still don't have a ton of speed, but they are taking advantage of turnovers, and good defense by leaking out early and getting easy baskets. Basketball is a give and take, they have a lot of size inside, so the Sparks guards can gamble and not rebound down and leak instead. Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker are good enough down low to snatch the rebound, even when the numbers are against them.

For more great info on the transition game, check out Billy Donovan's DVD on the Unstoppable Transition Game. Coach Donovan is the 2-time national championship winning coach of University of Florida. Discuss your favorite inbound plays at the X's and O's Basketball Forum with other coaches from around the world.