Basketball U on Timing
Posted Oct 6 2003 4:40PM
Basketball is a game of halves, quarters, minutes and seconds. Each second is precious in a basketball game. When holding a lead, teams will attempt to run down the clock before taking a shot. When behind, teams strategically plan plays aimed at scoring quickly.
Danny Biasone, the late owner of the Syracuse Nationals, invented the shot clock following the 1953-54 season in an effort to speed up the game and prevent teams from holding the ball and stalling. Biasone chose 24 seconds by figuring that the average number of shots two teams would take during a game was 120, or 60 shots taken by each team. He divided that number into 48 minutes or 2,880 seconds, the length of a game, and ended up with the magical number of 24.
Though the 24-Second Clock was created to increase the number of shots and points scored, defensive players use it to their advantage as well. As the shot clock is winding down, defences are aware that the offensive team only has a limited amount of time to get a shot off. The defence may step up the intensity to force the offensive team into a rushed or poor shot.
Some coaches are afforded the luxury of having a great scorer or one-on-one player who can create his own shot when the shot clock is running down. This player is able to get a good look or scoring opportunity based on their ability to shoot or drive to the basket.
A team only has eight seconds to bring the ball over the midcourt line and this is known as the eight-second rule. Once the offensive team takes the ball into the offensive end of the court, they cannot take it back into the defensive end of the court unless touched by a defensive player. This is called the backcourt violation, or is sometimes known as over and back.
Athletic teams that press full court try to force turnovers knowing the opposing team only has eight seconds to bring the ball over midcourt.
Starting in 2001-02, a defensive three-second rule prohibits a defensive player from remaining in the lane for more than three consecutive seconds without closely guarding an offensive player.
Two for One
A player that can create his own shot in the closing seconds of a half or game, known as a go-to guy, may be the difference between winning and losing.