I was at an open gym recently and there was one group of players that were really getting out and running in the open court, but they weren't scoring very efficiently. Reason? It was their spacing. They were clumped up all in the middle most of the time and their angles were off.

I watched the Phoenix Mercury tonight and they really impressed me with the way they run the open floor. Since the last time that I ragged on them when they only scored 55 points and lost to San Antonio, the Mercury have gone on to win 3 in a row scoring 103, 81 and 99 tonight to beat the Houston Comets. They still play that zone defense that I don't like, but I can't argue with their offense, they spread the floor, run hard, and score efficiently, take a look,

It's all about the Angles:

The key to the fast break is to run your lanes and get a good angle of attack to the basket. You really can't attack and score efficiently if you attack head on to the basket. The dribble should only attack from the middle if the either wing is occupied, that way you can make the defense commit to you, then drop off to the wing cutting in or for the 3-pointer. If the dribbler is the first person on the break with defenders in front, the dribbler should dribble wide and wait for the trailers to come down the middle, like so with Diana Taurasi,

Before the break starts, off the defensive rebound, your wings should go underneath and again run their lanes wide. You see both wings go wide here,


Now, the Mercury beat Minnesota, then Sacramento and now Houston, all average or below average teams. Their biggest test is coming up against Detroit on Tuesday. My understanding is that the top four from each conference make it to the playoffs, which means they would basically need to win out their remainder 3 games to make it. The Mercury have nothing to lose now but run, run, and run.

If you are looking for a run and gun style of early offense, check out Dave Arsenault's Running to Win DVD. Be sure to head over to the X's and O's Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.