Jan 16, update: Evidently I used the wrong video originally, one of those silly copy/paste errors. It is fixed now.

I have really been perplexed by the Houston Rockets this season. Going into today's game, they had been on a little winning bonanza but closer examination showed they were against mostly inferior to mediocre teams (New York, Minnesota, Washington, Orlando). For most of 3 quarters, the Rockets seemed to be in control, Yao was in a groove, and shots were going down. Slowly though, the Sixers were chipping away at a 15+ point lead. By midway through the 4th, the score was tied.

One of those little things that make a big difference is how your team finishes halves and quarters. I always like to think that how we finish a half or quarter is going to set the tone for how we finish the game. If we're behind, we want to finish the quarter strong knowing that we can build off positive play after positive play. The Sixers finished the 3rd quarter on a 7-2 run and it would lead to big things in the 4th and deciding quarter. This is the last play of the 3rd quarter by the Sixers,

Reversal Baseline Drive:

Actually, there really isn't anything special about this play. To be honest, I think that the Rockets defended it poorly. It's just a ball reversal to the weak-side corner who baseline drives it for the score.

They start out in a standard 1-4 low set. O3 and O4 come up. O1 does a dribble handoff to O3. This forces a switch, then O4 screens for O3.

O3 comes off the screen. There is great indecision between X2 and X4, O3 passes to O2 in the corner. O4 attempts to close out but doesn't seal the baseline.


I've heard some coaches say that momentum is overrated. I couldn't disagree more. I think momentum is one of the most important aspects of game coaching. I really do feel that when consecutive positive plays happen, it has an impact on the success of the next immediate play. The same is true of negative plays. The Sixers got the momentum heading into the 4th quarter with plays like above and they continued to roll into the 4th. On the flip side, the Rockets played tentative the rest of the way, and they played themselves out of the win.

For a great new video from a truly great basketball mind, take a look at Hubie Brown's DVD on Playbook for Success. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and other basketball topics.