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"Get Back!"

These are two of the most common words shouted by basketball coaches from here to Florida, right behind "Let's go!" and "%$*&! #$#%@". The sentiment holds true even at the highest levels but it's the precision of when and how that gets tricky.

In many ways, transition defense has more to do with a team's offensive principles than their defense. It all starts with where your players are when the other team gains possession. This may seem obvious but the implication is that offensive spacing is not only critical to create shots but defend them as well. When a shot goes up, the floor needs to be balanced with at least two players behind the free throw line. This gives those defenders enough of a head start to set up against the fast break, holding the fort until the rest of their teammates catch up.

Here, every single white jersey is below the foul line as Damian Lillard releases his shot. He misses and it's a foot race to the other end of the court. With the occasional Nicolas Batum chase down block aside, the offense wins that footrace every time.

No amount of hustle is ever going to change the result of that play. As soon as the shot went up, the Blazers were gambling, betting everything that it would go in.

Most of the time the Blazers were not this bad. Stotts often positions at least one player at the top of the key with players in each corner. However, if both bigs crash, that can leave the man at the top of the key feeling awfully lonely.
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