One of the most underrated aspects of running a good fastbreak is the start of it – getting the ball out on the break, especially when your working off of a made or missed shot, and not a turnover. Your big men need to understand they need to get the ball to their point guard as quickly as possible, and your point guard needs to understand how to come back to the ball and make themselves an easy target.
Not to mention they need to understand the most basic rule of any fastbreak – the ball moves faster in the air than on the ground. No amount of great dribbling drills is going to give your players the ability to run faster than the basketball. If you can pass the ball up ahead to an open teammate, you do it, without another extra dribble. If you watch a team like the Miami Heat or Oklahoma City Thunder, their
willingness to headman the ball and share it with each other on the break is what makes them so hard to stop on the break.
The outlet drill is a great way to teach your players these concepts, and help ingrain them in their basketball IQ to the point where it’s instinctual.
Have your point guard line up at the hash mark at the sideline, and a wing player line up at halfcourt. You can either setup your assistant coach underneath the rim with the ball already, or as I prefer to do, have a player shoot the ball and have your big man grab the rebound, make or miss.
Once the big man has grabbed the rebound, the point guard will immediately cut back to the basketball. Either sprinting directly back to the ball, pivoting and heading up on the break, or sweeping in at an angle, curving in to grab the ball and then push out using their momentum.
At the same time, the wing man is going to take off to the rim, looking for the pass. The point guard will throw the ball up right away – at first you can let your players use one dribble to get their feet set, but as soon as they’re comfortable, force them to make the pass without putting the ball on the floor once.
Often times, the difference between a good basketball offense and a great one is the ability to get easy baskets – and there are no baskets in the game easier than the wide open layups a good fastbreak will give you.