Now that you’ve already checked out the Breaking It Down segment on Terrence Ross and Tyler Hansbrough, here are three charge plays that I’d like to quickly review.

Play 1: Lowry in transition

This is Lowry picking up a charge after a turnover. The key thing to note here is that Lowry is playing perfect transition defense. As the ball is covered, his good positioning is taking away the easy pass to Paul George on the break, forcing Watson to look for another option, which happens to be Scola.

Lowry is not only cognizant of this potential pass but successfully predicts it and picks up the charge. Note that if Lowry had “set up” for the charge too early, the pass to George would’ve been easy. Instead, his timing of when to play defense on George and when to focus on Scola is bang on.

Play 2: Amir Johnson gets back in transition to surprise

The great part of this play is note where Amir Johnson is at the start of it. Paul George thinks he’s got a clear path to the rim and is not anticipating Johnson to get back on defense that quick, let alone set himself up to pick up a charge.

Play 3: Lowry draws a charge, thanks partly to Amir

The reason I love this play is because Lowry is really battling George in the post. The latter has made the cut to the rim looking for the ball hoping to exploit the height mismatch. Lowry sees that Hibbert is doing something that Hibbert doesn’t generally do – drive from the key – and leaves George to get in position. Now, the hidden beauty here is that the pass from Hibbert to George for an easy dunk is being blocked by Amir Johnson dropping down. It’s that little movement by Johnson that has made the decision for Hibbert to go in himself, instead of passing.

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  • raptorstand

    What I have noticed to is that the players are touching somebody on d, when a player passes them in the lane somebody is reaching out and touching them , disrupting timing and lane vision. Tight d with loose refereeing spells positive things. Winning is teaching the young guys they are on the right track, this team is becoming a beast.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      That’s also the product of the 3 second defensive violation rule.

      Watch JV, he’s reaching out an touching another player like a metronome if he’s in the paint

      • raptorstand

        Interesting , I will be looking for that, They are reading each others body language real well, and dare I say it like all the great teams they are starting to read each others mind. This is gonna be so fun.

      • Nilanka15


        The touching is an overt gesture to the referees that says, “look, I’m guarding someone so I’m allowed to be in the paint”.

  • One relaxed fella

    Lowry is drawing charges on a consistent basis and it’s one of the things he does very well on D. I think he does that like 2-3 times per game and that’s a lot. I just hope he doesn’t get injured when some guy runs into him.

    Since Zarar is breaking down recent Raptors’ performance, I remembered the small ball and that it’s basically gone, Raps tend to play with two bigs now at 4 and 5. Before the trade, Gay and Fields had some minutes at the 4 and this wasn’t working at all. Now Raptors have a four big men rotation with Jonas, Amir, Pat and Tyler. Amir and Pat can step out and make a mid range shot or even a three (especially Pat) but at the same time they are true power forwards who bring toughness inside.

  • GetLicks

    Can we just have Zarar doing the game recaps for the rest of the year please? I’m fed up of reading Tim W’s drivel. If it weren’t for all the fans and comments, this site would turn into the barren wasteland that is tankHQ.. I mean raptorsHQ lol

    • Bryan Colangelo

      Yeah, let’s get a guy that actually watches and enjoys basketball to recap these games.

      • I’mwithimmy-tay

        You know .. you guys might want to ease up on the whole frothing-at-the-mouth thing that some of you have going on. Children charging around with pitchforks can only end up one way .. and I don’t think it’s good.

        • GetLicks

          Huh? Really not sure how your comment relates, other than just disagreeing for the sake of starting an argument.

        • raptorstand

          charging around with pitchforks can only end up one way ?? Taking out the bad guys and the townsfolk live happily ever after??

          • I’mwithimmy-tay

            .. like this rookie, here, with the out-of-control endorphin rush going on. Obviously never followed a team who won anything before and is now so out of his mind because they’ve played a handful of good games, he has no idea how quickly things can change. He’ll find out how big a fan he really is .. (and good luck to him).

        • Bryan Colangelo

          I was praising Zarar Siddiqi more then slamming Tim. This is the kind of game-specific insight and analysis that makes sense for a post-game recap — not some superficial, state-of-team ‘analysis’ that Tim provided.

          Tim’s ‘recap’ was less about a specific game and more of transparently defensive editorial, that could have been published a week ago or a month from now. Instead of writing about the game he used the recap as a soapbox.

          Maybe there would be less criticism of Tim if he took game recaps more seriously.

          • I’mwithimmy-tay

            ya. except .. he was right in everything he said. The day when a writer has to say only what a majority – of possibly, fools – demands that he says, well .. the slope gets very slippery. Even you raging idiots (no offense, but you are) should realize that.

            • Bryan Colangelo

              You know what you and Tim W — assuming that you’re aren’t Tim W — have in common?

              You’re both the kind of people that mistake cynicism for objectivity.

              You are both SO STUPID — and I’m not exaggerating, you need to look in the mirror, do some soul-searching, and think about how stupid you are — that you’ve actually conned yourself into thinking they YOU are smart and THE REST of the world is magically, impossibly dumb.

              Demar is an elite shooting guard playing at peak efficiency? No shit Sherlock, tell me more about how everything in the universe can be better than it actually is!

              All teams go through hot streaks? Well thank you, baby Einstein, what an obvious and totally useless observation to make!

              Yes, the Raptor’s have a long way to go before being a contender. But here’s a news flash ‘Mr. Right’ — NO ONE IF FUCKING DENYING THAT. Not Amir, not Casey, not Ujiri, not Demar, not even 90% of the fan base.

              Tell me something that we don’t know. Or better yet, DO YOUR FUCKING JOB AND WRITE ABOUT THE SPECIFIC GAME YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO WRITE ABOUT. Wow. So hard is that, right?

              When SNEERING IDIOTS like Tim W write condescending articles, regurgitating the same easy cynicism and non-analysis — about how the team isn’t perfect or unsustainable or not as good enough to win a championship —who the fuck do they think they talking down to? Who the fuck do YOU think you’re talking down to? Babies? Soccer moms? Whatever imaginary audience you have to conjure to make yourself feel superior?

              Pull your head out of your ass. If you think Tim W knows anything about basketball that 90% of the guys on this site don’t already know, you know nothing about basketball or the people here. If you think what Tim wrote is good writing — and not a self-serving, masturbatory, irrelevant mess — you seriously need to read more.

              • I’mwithimmy-tay


    • leftovercrack

      Actually, there appears to have been some kind of poster uprising at RaptorsHQ and most of the commenters are now cheering the Raptors to win games

    • tim w.

      shut the fuck up p00ka.

      • GetLicks

        Not sure if you’re joking, considering the name you used. But if you think I’m someone named p00ka (seen that name on here before), you’re mistaken. I don’t get it

  • Larry Nalzaro

    TimW is the kind of guy who when he wins the lottery complains about his taxes. When the Raps were losing he blasted everyone in the organization. Now that the Raps are winning he accuses them of mediocrity. What’s wrong with this guy?

    • raptorstand

      I don’t know Nik , but I have heard whispers on here he might have been in a terrible basketball accident and lost an appendage forcing him to become a women , but I don’t believe a word of it, the slugs on this site will say the most horrid things about the most interesting of writers.

  • feylines

    Gotta love JV in clip 3 as well.. funnels Hibbert right into the charge

    • tonious35

      JV blocked the pass off and a potential 3pt-off screen play for George Hill. Then it baited Hibbert to do one of the most fundamentally flawed things in the NBA, have your center be dribbler to the basket into 2-3 defenders.

  • tonious35

    #3 Another ingenious fact from Amir is that while in the paint and disrupting the PG24 potential option was that he avoided a Defensive-3-Second call by still staying in proximity within David West. An idiot (cough* Bargs) or a total Rookie PF would been called for that due to the fact that they would most likely drift far away enough from the player and be caught “zone-picking” and give one ponit to the Pacers

  • Bryan Colangelo

    The way you break down these plays reveals the art and beauty of basketball.

    Seriously. I’m not being facetious or sarcastic at all. Well done.

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