I watched a little bit of the exciting Raptors and Celtics game but mostly watched the Trailblazers big win on the road over the Magic. It was a great game and I think the Blazers are on the right track and when Greg Oden gets back they'll be even better.

In this 4th quarter stretch where the Blazers got some big defensive stops and some big 3-point shots. It was a 10-point swing and the Blazers broke the tie to take the lead for good here. I just like how simple basketball can be, "Reverse the ball." How many times do we as coaches say that, yet how few times do our players actually do that. Watch these 2 key offensive sequences where the Blazers are able to move the ball around and get that open shot,

It's such a simple concept, yet it never gets old. Reverse the ball. Each time you do it, the better shot opportunity you'll get. It's like what Gene Hackman says in the classic movie Hoosiers, "4 passes before you shoot." Why? Because it works.

Ball Reversal for a Better Shot:

There's really nothing to this play except simple fundamentals. They start out in a 4-out 1-in look. The ball gets passes to Outlaw (O3) on the wing. O1 goes down to the low block. O2 goes for a v-cut, O4 pops out for the reversal,

True, Outlaw could've shot it here, but the smart play is to reverse the ball. O4 reverses it to O2 and starts setting up the stagger screen,

Outlaw sets up his cut to the ball by pretending to be cutting to the basket and coming through to the opposite low block. Instead he cuts over top and O4 sets the last screen for Outlaw for the open shot. X3 gets fooled and tries to go underneath, around and back up top, which by that time is of course too late,


Pass and screen away or pass and cut. Every time the ball is reversed, the defense has to work to adjust to not only movement of the ball but movement of players. This is especially the case in a motion offense. You must go through 1 or 2 iterations before the best shot becomes available. That's why it requires patience and teamwork. Once 1 player decides to get score-happy and wants to go 1v5, your offense bogs down. Get the ball moving, get your players moving, and the court will open up.

A great video that builds on these concepts is Paul Hewitt's DVD on Transition Offense into 4-out 1-in Motion where he emphasizes three passes before every shot. Coach Hewitt is the head coach at Georgia Tech. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.