A fast break in basketball is where the ball is pushed up the court before the defence has a chance to set up. It is probably one of the most exciting plays to watch and be a part of during the game. The objective of the fast break is to attempt to get an easy basket by using speed and accurate passing.
Most fast breaks occur because the team running the break finds themselves in a situation where they have more players running than the defence has to cover them. Fast breaks can occur due to a defensive rebound or an out of court play or even if a defensive player steals the ball. However, a fast break doesn’t just happen, not making the right decision in terms of who to throw the ball to can stop the play before it even begins.
Generally the guard should always get the ball on the fast break. Once the guard gets the ball they need to make their way to the middle of the court. This is because it will force the defence to decide on whether they will be going left or right with the ball. If the ball is on either side of the court the defence will know where the ball is going, but if the ball is in the middle of the court they have to cover the whole court which will generally lead to an easy attempt at a shot.
The player with the ball must decide what they want to do by the time they reach the foul line. That is, pass the ball off, drive to the ring or stop and take a shot. It is important to have supporting players following the person taking the fast break. If the offensive player finds themself in trouble they can quickly pass the ball and that player can take the shot under less pressure.