What is ATo in Basketball? Get the Low-Down On This Common Move

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What is ATO in Basketball?

Basketball fans often hear the term ‘ATO’ used during a game, but what does it mean and where did it come from? In this post, we’ll explore the origin of this acronym and how it’s used in basketball today.

Background of ATO

ATO stands for “after timeout offense” and was first coined by Jeff Van Gundy when he was head coach of the New York Knicks during the early 2000s. The concept refers to a team’s offensive strategy after they are granted a timeout; typically, coaches will draw up plays that give their players an advantage over the opposition. This can be anything from getting into advantageous positions on the court to taking advantage of mismatches or exploiting weaknesses in defensive coverage.

How Is ATO Used Today?

Today, teams use ATOs as part of their overall offensive schemes. Coaches will often spend time drawing up plays specifically designed to take advantage of certain matchups or situations that may arise while playing against another team. These strategies are then implemented following timeouts and serve as an additional tool for coaches to create winning opportunities for their teams on any given night.


ATO has become an integral part of modern basketball tactics with many coaches seeing it as essential for achieving success on both sides of the ball. Although its origins date back several decades ago, its importance cannot be understated when considering how offenses operate in today’s game due to its ability to provide added advantages through strategic play calling before and after each timeout period throughout a match-up