“Regardless of how diligent the defense may be, the offense will beat the defense at times and the defenders will find themselves having to scramble to recover to stop an offense that has them outnumbered in transition.”

Key Takeaways:
  • Big-In & Little-Out Concept
  • “I Got Two”
  • Build the Wall


“…(G)ood defenses would prefer to give up anything other than a lay-up.”


  • “Big-in and little-out” refers to the preferable defensive situation when disadvantaged to get a frontcourt positional player back to protect the rim, while the guard works on the perimeter to contain the attacking ballhandler.

One thing that we look to incorporate here within our own program is the terminology of “I got two.”

  • The top defender pushes the ballhandler to a side outside the paint forcing a pass.
  • As soon as the pass is made, the backside defender takes the ball while the perimeter defender on the ball is forced to drop splitting the court in half. At this point, the off-ball defender should be communicating to recovering teammates that there are two offensive players and directing traffic to the nearest teammate where to match-up. See video clip below for example.

4v3 & 5v4

Building on the tandem “Big-In & Little-Out” concept defenses with more numbers look to “Build a Wall” containing transition offenses. The objectives are still the same:

  • Turn & Talk
  • Take Away Any Early Easy Looks
  • Build the Wall
  • Talk Who Has Two
  • Show Hands & Stay in Front

Take a look at a compilation of some of these clips of the Toronto Raptors demonstrating a few defensive concepts in transition:



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