If it seems you have heard the phrase “transition defense” a lot this N.B.A. season, you are not mistaken. Basketball’s evolution has made everything smaller and faster, and offenses are looking for any opportunity to run. This leaves coaches desperately looking for ways to combat the offensive surge.
The Los Angeles Lakers cited transition defense as a reason for signing Tyson Chandler. It’s a reason often given for why the Cleveland Cavaliers fired Tyronn Lue as their coach. And it was the biggest point of emphasis on Sunday when the Milwaukee Bucks made a statement by throttling the ultrafast Sacramento Kings.