3 on 2, 2 on 1 Transition Basketball Drill

3 on 2, 2 on 1 Transition Basketball Drill


Transition offense in basketball is a great way to get high percentage looks and capitalize on easy baskets. Vice versa, giving up easy transition baskets is a good way to lose. If you can capitalize on your transition opportunities and limit the other team’s chances, you will be doing well in helping yourself win games.

It is not something that just happens, though; you must be willing to spend time teaching the proper technique and developing your player’s instincts. Whether it is transition offense or defense, most of the time, a split second read is going to need to be made, and the better players can be prepared for these moments, the better they will be at making the right decisions.

This basketball team drill will allow you to work on both your offensive transition and be able to get stops even if the other team has an offensive numbers advantage. It will give you a lot of quality transition repetitions in a short period. It is also a good competition basketball drill to set the intensity for your practices as well. The 3 on 2, 2 on 1 transition basketball drill is a drill that should be a staple of pretty much every team’s regular practice routine.



Basketball Drill Overview

Drill Name: 3 on 2, 2 on 1 Transition Basketball Drill

Equipment Needed: 8+ players, a full-court, and a basketball (having a couple of basketballs works best).


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Goals of the Drill

  • Offense Goals
    • Work on offensive transition efficiency and being able to score the basketball before the defense is set.
    • Work on taking care of the ball and making the correct read for the right shot or finish.
  • Defensive Goals
    • Work on sprinting back on defense in transition.
    • Practice stunting and forcing the offense to slow up until help gets there, or force them into a tough finish or shot.
  • General Goals
    • Work on being able to play at a faster pace.
    • Develop overall conditioning to get up and down the floor.
    • Learn how to compete and fight on every possession, even if the odds aren’t in your favor.


Coaching Points

  • Offensive players need to stay wide when running the wings to force the defense to cover more ground and create more gaps.
  • The offense needs to be looking to get a high percentage finishes at the basket or wide-open catch and shoot shot for a good shooter.
  • The defense is trying to get a stop, but really if they can slow up the offense with multiple passes, it is a good defensive play. Slowing down the attack will allow trailing defensive players to get back into the play in an actual game situation.
  • Don’t allow things to get sloppy with your offensive players. You want to play fast, but your team must also stay under control and take care of the ball.
  • If you want a post player to, at times, bring the ball up the floor in a game, this is a good chance for them to get repetitions at executing this.


Basketball Drill Instructions

  • Three offensive players will start spread out on the baseline with a basketball.
  • The two defensive players will begin in a tandem formation at the opposite basket.
  • When the drill starts, the three offensive players will begin to transition up the floor at full speed looking to score.
  • The two defensive players are looking to get a stop.
  • Once there is a stop or bucket, the two defensive players will immediately take the ball and transition back on offense.
  • The last player to touch the basketball of the original three offensive players will run back on defense and look to get a stop.
  • The other two will then become the defensive players for the next repetition.
  • Continue this pattern for the desired amount of time or points.


Recommended Time, Scoring, and Repetitions

  • This basketball drill is best done for a certain amount of time, but you can also track turnovers, good or bad offensive possessions, good or bad defensive possessions, etc. Then, challenge your team to stay above or below a certain number. This will provide some accountability with your team and also put a little pressure on them as well.
  • Another great way to do things is to go for the same amount of time each time you do this drill and then track your numbers. This will allow you to see your offensive or defensive transition progression over time.


3 on 2, 2 on 1 Transition Basketball Drill


3 on 2, 2 on 1 Transition Basketball Drill Conclusion

Transition basketball is a big part of the game. Regardless of whether you want to run primarily or not, you will need to be able to get back and get stops. If you are willing to run, though, transition offense can not only provide high percentage looks, but it can also offer momentum-building plays. A big dunk in transition or a couple of wide-open threes on back-to-back possessions can get the gym bumping and have your team competing on a whole new level.

So make sure to take advantage of the 3 on 2, 2 on 1 Transition Basketball Drill regularly, and you will give your team the confidence it needs to be able to play fast-paced while also staying under control and making the right plays.


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3 Responses

  1. Great drill for coaches and players. I like this drill because you can work on defense and offense in the same time. That will give time to maximize your practice time.

  2. To closer simulate defensive transition, we tell our two defenders that remain after the initial 3 on 2, to run and touch the half court line. Then we tell the next group of 3 offensive players to outlet pass and begin their fastbreak as the ball from the previous group (going 2 on 1) crosses half court.

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