Do you play basketball? If so, you’ve probably heard of the acronym “ATO.” What is ATO in basketball, it stands for “After Time Out” and refers to how many seconds remain before the next shot.
When it comes to sports, we often hear coaches talk about “time-outs,” but do most players really understand what that means? Most athletes just assume that once the ball goes back into play, the clock starts ticking again. But that’s not always true.
In fact, there’s another way to look at ATOs. Instead of thinking of them as a countdown, consider them as a countdown to something else. For example, if you were playing basketball and had 20 seconds left on the clock, would you rather shoot from the free throw line or attempt a three point shot?
The answer should be obvious. Unless you have a great shooter, you’d rather try to make a three pointer. Why? Because you only get one shot with each possession. And every second counts.
That’s why I’m going to teach you how to calculate ATOs in basketball. Once you learn this new skill, you’ll never forget it. You’ll also see how it applies to other sports, including football, baseball, soccer, hockey, volleyball, tennis, golf, and even bowling.
What Is ATO In Basketball
Let’s start by looking at an NBA game. The clock is running down and your team has the ball. What are they doing? They’re trying to score points. So, let’s say that your opponent scores two points during the last few seconds of the clock.
You can’t take any more time off the clock because you don’t want to give up those points. So, you call a timeout. That gives you 10 seconds left on the clock. Now, you could choose to pass the ball around and hope to score a basket. Or you could decide to go for a 3-pointer instead.
If you choose to go for a 3, then you need to know how much time you have left. Let’s say you have five seconds left on the clock (five seconds after the 2 points). Then, you need to subtract five seconds from ten seconds, which leaves 5 seconds remaining. Remember, you have five seconds left, so you need to subtract five from five. That leaves zero seconds left on the clock!
If you went for a 3, you still have five seconds left on your clock. However, now you have a choice: either you can shoot from the free throw lane or you can try to make a layup. Which option will give you the best chance of scoring?
Well, you might think that making a layup is better than shooting from the free throw line. After all, you only have five seconds left, and you can make a layup. But, remember that you only get one shot per possession. And when you have five seconds left and no shot available, you’re pretty much screwed.
So, it turns out that making a layup isn’t the best option. Instead, you should choose to shoot from the free throw zone. Why? Because you have five seconds left. And since you have five seconds left to shoot, you can afford to miss the first shot.
But, wait! There’s more! If you miss the first shot, then you have four seconds left on your clock before you can try to make the next shot. And since you have four seconds left, you can afford to make a bad shot.
But, you ask, if you miss the first shot and have four seconds left, doesn’t that mean you have zero seconds left on the court? Not necessarily. It depends on what happens next.
If you miss the first shot but manage to make the second shot, then you have three seconds left on the clock, not zero. So, you can afford to waste a little bit of time by missing the first shot.
However, if you miss both shots, then you have no time left on the clock. So, you’re done.
Now, let’s look at another example. This time, we’ll use the same scenario as above, except with different numbers. We’ll assume that you have seven seconds left on the clock and that you have a wide-open shot.
In this case, you should definitely shoot from the free throw line, right? Well, maybe. Maybe not. Remember, you only have seven seconds left on your clock, so you can afford to miss once. And if you miss, then you have six seconds left on the clock before you can attempt a second shot. So, in this situation, you really do have enough time to make a good shot.
On the other hand, you also have seven seconds left on his clock. So, you can spend those extra seconds waiting for your teammates to come back into the game. Or, you could pass the ball around until someone makes a basket. Either way, you have plenty of time to score.
So, if you want to maximize your chances of winning, you should probably take the last shot. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting valuable time.
7 Advantages of ATO In Basketball
ATO is an important part of basketball strategy because it helps you decide whether or not you should play aggressively or passively. Here are some advantages of using ATO in basketball:
1) You Can Take More Shots
When you have less time left on the clock, you can afford to take fewer shots. But, when you have lots of time left, you can afford more shots.
For example, if you have two seconds left on the clock but you have a wide-open shot, you should probably take it. However, if you have ten seconds left on the clock while you have a wide-opened shot, you should probably pass the ball instead.
2) You Can Make Better Decisions
Since you have more time remaining, you can make better decisions about how to spend your time. For example, if you have one second left on the clock, but you have a wide-open jump shot, you might want to just go ahead and take the shot. After all, you don’t have much time left anyway.
On the other hand, if you have thirty seconds left on the clock but you still have a wide-open shot, you might want to use up those extra seconds to wait for your teammates to return to the game.
3) You Can Be More Aggressive
You can be more aggressive when you have more time remaining on the clock. That’s why you should usually take the last shot. If you have lots of time remaining, you can afford to try something risky like going for the dunk.
4) You Can Avoid Being Too Passive
If you have lots of time on the clock, you shouldn’t necessarily be too passive. Instead, you should take advantage of every opportunity you get.
5) It Helps You Win Games
Of course, you won’t always win games with ATO. Sometimes, you’ll end up losing even though you have lots of time left on the clock! But, in general, ATO will help you win games.
6) It Helps Your Teammates Score
In most cases, you’re best off taking the last shot. But, sometimes, you may need to pass the ball around until your teammate scores.
7) It Makes The Game Funner
When you have lots of time, you can use that extra time to do things that aren’t normally allowed. Like, you can dribble around until you find a wide-open shooter.
In conclusion, ATO stands for After Time Out. This means that if you’re playing against a team that has a higher average than yours, then you’re going to win fewer games than you’d expect. However, if you’re playing against teams who have lower averages than yours, then you’ll win more games than you’d expect!
This is why it’s so important to keep track of your statistics throughout the season. By doing this, you’ll know exactly where you stand, which will help you plan your strategy accordingly. For example, if you notice that you’re having trouble scoring points against certain teams, then you’ll want to focus on improving your shooting percentage instead of trying to score more points.
The same goes for defense. You’ll want your teammates to step up their defensive intensity if you notice that you’re giving away too many easy baskets. So whether you’re playing basketball or another sport, it pays to keep track of your stats and adjust your strategies accordingly.