That Pacers game. Wow. Some iron mettle was shown by the Raps against a Pacer team that doesn’t give anything up easy. The Raptors held their nerves, ground out their offense against a locked-in Pacer defense and came away with one of the more impressive wins across the NBA, let alone just for the Raptors. They’ve beaten the best Eastern and Western teams in their current stretch of awesomeness, which is admirable by any standard.

This post is simply one play that caught my eye, a play that was executed in those key moments in the fourth quarter where the game was up for grabs. Late. Tight. Pressure on.

Frame 1: We start things off with what appears to be a double-screen for Vasquez set by Ross and Hansbrough.

Frame 2: This turns out to be a decoy as Vasquez doesn’t use them at all and drifts to the right. After all, the man does not have the quickness to beat a Pacer defense to the rim, especially one anchored by West.

Frame 3: The real play turns out to be for Ross.  Hansbrough sets out a second pick, this time a down-screen, and Vasquez is ready to pass in time for Ross hitting his receiving spot. The timing for the Vasquez pass/Ross catch is perfect.

Frame 4: Ross’s quick curl across the screen and brings West into the play proper, as Paul George doesn’t even have time to think about going “under” the screen and is essentially out of the play. Credit the earlier decoy for delaying George and having the effect of matching Ross up with West.

Frame 5: Ross’s bounce-pass to Scola is pristine, it actually feeds Hansbrough in his shooting stride. Scola has come over but he’s too late. There’s also a passing option for Hansbrough as Patterson is open on the left, but he decides to take it in himself. This passing option is a huge advantage of having a big who can shoot, because when their defender goes to help, they can pop out in space.

Frame 6: Hansbrough lays it in. George is completely out of position even right now and has not made the rotation out to Patterson (not that it matters since Hansbrough took it in himself).  If Hibbert was in the game, then Patterson most likely would’ve gotten the ball as Hansbrough v Hibbert is something that Hansbrough would not try to negotiate (I think).

Here’s the full GFY of the play.

Credit to Dwane Casey for drumming this one up.  A simple misdirection/decoy, a quick flash to catch the ball, alert thinking in the presence of defense, and a good finish.   Kudos.

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  • MalcolmX

    That Casey – what a loser! Thank goodness he does such a good job on the Raps defense because secondary bench players like Tyler never get their names called for offensive sets!

    • wrapfan

      July 2, 2013, Pacers rescind Tyler’s qualifying offer. July 15, Masai takes a chance on him at a slight discount. Nov 8th, Hansbrough’s first chance to send a message, alas Pacers win.

      Jan 1, 2014 – Tyler’s motivated, calm/focused and well supported, different story, Raps win. Nice to see it all come together. Prediction: On Tuesday, Tyler is called a few more times — message gets sent. #sixmonthslater

  • StabbyRaccoon

    Slick play. Thanks for the breakdown.

  • slammajamma

    Clutch play indeed — love these offensive breakdowns, please keep ’em coming :)…dreaming here, but Casey’s crew might get inspired!

    Nice to have Patterson’s skills, but imagine if he would have collapsed toward the net right after frame 4 (or after Scola commits his focus to Hansbrough)…then it wouldn’t matter if Hibbert replaces Scola, a short alley-oop pass later and #boom, bye-bye ACC roof!

    • wrapfan

      Agreed, Patterson arrived on Dec 9th…perhaps that’ll be the play after they get a little more practice time in.

  • smrt

    Tim W should be forced to write out the first paragraph of this post on a chalkboard a few hundred times, I think to him that would be a worse torture than being water boarded by John Lovitz with Beiber’s greatest hits blaring on endless loop. Seriously, what is wrong with that guy?

    Thanks for the positivity Arse! Love these breakdowns and everything you do contributing to this site. HNY!

    • vanlivin

      We are just seeing first glimpses. Maybe Ross is our star three. If he can do what he shows consistently, most importantly the way he has been playing defense, I think the young man can play with anyone.
      Really at every position our starting line up is capable of playing with the best players at their position. You build the chemistry, play as a team, play hard gritty defense, and see what these guys can aspire to.
      The upgrade I would look the most into is finding a backup pg that plays better defense than Vasquez but can flow an offense better than buycks/stone. GIve Vasquez some Jose film to watch could learn a few valuable things.
      Maybe if a more appropriate 6th man appears that would be ok. But really John Salmons for this season is fairly appropriate. I would go for Afflalo just cause his demeanor ever since UCLA days fits in with this team. I would not trade Ross or anyone in our starting line up for him

  • Nikita

    Zarar, you saw the same game as Tim W yet you have a different take on what happened. You praise the Raps; Tim accuses them of mediocrity. Who’s right between you two?

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