Momentum isn’t just someone’s fantasy or a figment of some play- by-play commentator’s imagination. Teams do tend to score points in clusters, when the fans get revved up and energy levels rise. Players’ emotions ebb and flow, and it is true that a player is more likely to hit a shot after his team has hit four in-a-row than when they’ve missed four in-a-row and they are falling behind.
For this reason, it makes sense to respond to momentum. If your team is “hot,” go with it, keep the pressure on, keep shooting, let the game flow. But don’t let the game roll along when the other team is getting the best of the flow.
A good rule of thumb: When the other team scores two consecutive baskets, slow down the game, throw more passes and keep them on defense longer until the momentum breaks. A running-gunning game may be your specialty, but if you’ve missed twice and the other team has scored, you need some change in the rhythm of the game. Changing a game’s adverse rhythm is important enough that you usually would even want to pass up an early open shot just to keep the other team on defense longer and make them earn all their points.
From Dick’s book Stuff