Fast Break Advantage Training

Numbers on Break

Numbers Advantage Drill: 3 on 2 / 2 on 1

A fast breaking team needs to be successful a very high percentage of the time when they have “Numbers” (more offensive attackers than defenders).

The purpose of the 3 on 2 / 2 on 1 Drill is to teach players how to handle an offensive advantage which often occurs on missed shot fast breaks or after an opponent’s turnover.  With the “Numbers” advantage, I expected my high school teams to score 70% of the time or more.  This drill provided season long practice for these situations.

One direction has two defenders for three offensive players to attack and the return has one defender for two offensive men to attack.  In Numbers, the defenders only play half court defense, so the offense pretty much is choreographed until the ball crosses the mid court line. 

Begin the drill with two defenders at the far end of the court, lined up in a tandem.  The top defender should be at about the top of the key.  His job is to stop the middle drive and force a pass to the wing.  The bottom defender covers the basket until a pass goes to the wing, then he moves out to defend that shot or drive while the top defender drops to the basket. 

The rest of the team splits up into three equal lines at the opposite end of the court.  The first three offensive players start from the baseline  with an outlet pass to a wing.  (Diagram 1)  The middle man (1) does a figure 8 move and goes behind the man he passes to (2), then continues down the sideline.  Wing (3) runs his sideline as usual. 

Wing (2) catches the outlet, pivots, looks up court, then dribbles toward the middle, using his hand that is closest to the midline of the court.  His job is to get the two defenders to move by dribbling to one side or the other, and hopefully opening a passing lane for a teammate. (Diagram 1)

Page 001 (1)

                      Diagram 1

When (2) sees the back defender (4) move to a side, he should be able to pass to the open man (1).   One more quick pass to (3) may lead to an even better shot, but the idea is to score quickly. (Diagram 1)

As soon as a basket is made or a turnover or rebound occurs, the two defenders now turn into offensive players and attack the opposite end.  They are encouraged to pass the ball back and forth (Diagram 2) and not dribble until they get to a point it is no longer feasible to pass. Then they can drive to the basket.  A perfect 2 on 1 in this part of the drill would result in a layup with no dribbles taken at all.

Page 002 (1)

                     Diagram 2

The next man up (X1) in the middle line is the defender of the two attackers coming back.  He is encouraged to start at the top of the key and challenge as hard as he can. (Diagram 2)  The drill continues by going back the other way when the offense scores, turns it over, or when (X1) gets a rebound.  He (X1) is then joined by (X2) and (X3) for an attack on the opposite end, thus repeating the drill. (Diagram 3)

Page 003 (1)

                      Diagram 3

Note that (1), the original middle man to start the drill, returns to a new line by jogging out of bounds along the sideline. (Diagram 2)  The original wings (2 and 3) are left to play defense against the second group now attacking.  So the middle line plays defense on the original end and the wings play defense on the far end.  When returning to the lines, players should always go to a new line so they play defense and offense from new positions the next time through.

I love this drill because it teaches passing, quick attacking, reading situations, and finishing.  It also provides defenders an opportunity to work on stopping an opponent when out-numbered during transition defense.  This is an up and back drill with quick action and many teaching/learning opportunities.

Key Teaching Points for “Numbers”

1.  Make players stick to fundamentals and not try to get too cute.

2.  Jump stops off the dribble are important in the beginning to cut down on turnovers and bad decisions.

3.  Insist on two-handed passes at all times.

4.  Insist on dribbling left-handed when going left, right-handed when going right.

5.  Take good shots, but strive for quick shots. 

6.  A layup is the goal or a short bank shot.  Getting free throws out of it is nice too.

7.  Score in 2 or 3 passes going up court and try for no dribbles coming back.

8.  Fast Break Drills need to be in every practice, every day, without fail.

For more on Fast Breaking and Fast Break Drills, check out Coach Battenberg’s latest book: “You Can Run With Anyone.”  Click the “Free Preview” or “Buy” buttons below.


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