Time Trumps Territory

In competitive sports, coaches and players seek to control two elements fundamental to many games – time and space.

By time, I mean a range of things from the pace or tempo of play to the concepts of timing and rhythm as players attempt to harmonize their movements with one another and with the various time limits inherent in games governed by a clock.

As we shall see, basketball is fundamentally a game of time. The elimination of the jump ball after made baskets and free throws in the late 1930’s transformed basketball into a game of continuous action with teams converting from offense to defense and back again in near seamless fashion. In basketball we don’t “conquer and hold territory” – instead we “pass through it.” It’s a game of transition.

Understanding this reality affects how you “see” the game and consequently how you coach or play it. In fact, one’s ability to manage time most often determines who wins and who loses.

Truly, time trumps territory is the first law of basketball.

Click here to read Basketball’s First Law

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