In basketball, offensive action initially taken by a team when it switches from defense to offense as it moves the ball up the court. This is most commonly represented by the fast break.
Transition offenses are most often fueled by fast break plays. While this is often as a result of a steal or an opponent turnover, fast breaks can occur whenever a defense is caught off guard. To that effect, most transition offenses are played aggressive and quick, giving the defense no time to establish their defensive positions or protect certain areas of the court. Many teams with faster, smaller players or multiple guards are often more proficient at transition offense as they can move the ball up the court more quickly. The key to a good transition offense it know when to use it. This is usually facilitated by players who can recognize if an opponent's transition defense is sluggish or weak, and also by the tempo of the game. A transition offense that generates a fast break is not going to be any good if the players executing it do not have good ball control or are impatient. The most common types of fast breaks originating from transition are the 2-on-1 and the 3-on-2, and each have separate strategies involved to score the basket.