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Raptors Playbook: Short Clock SLOB – “4”

Raptors Playbook: Short Clock SLOB – “4”

Over at the Raptors Playbook YouTube channel (@RaptorsPlaybook on Twitter), I am breaking down the X’s & O’s of the Toronto Raptors. This week, we’ll focus on their Short Clock Sideline out of Bounds play – a way to guarantee a shot with minimal time left on the shotclock. Watch the video embedded below alongside the summary written, and remember to follow and subscribe to never miss out on a video.

Option 1a: Zipper Cut, Rip Screen & Screen the Screener – Starting at 0:00

By setting up in a slightly angled box formation, the Toronto Raptors will have their desired target on the weak side elbow setting a Rip screen, while their best screen setter is on the strong side of the floor setting a Zipper screen for a decoy wing player.

The desired target will then angle their body towards the inbounder and cut away from the basket to use a screen for themself (Screen the Screener action). Their defender will likely be trailing them as they have the responsibility of bumping the cutter on the Rip screen to ensure a lob pass is not thrown. As a result, their desired target is usually open on the catch when cutting towards the inbounder before the 5-second violation can occur. At this point, a combination of momentum and good footwork work to the target’s benefit as they turn the corner and either finish at the rim or loft a baseline jumper.

Option 1b: Slip Screen Lob – Starting at 1:04

The oft-forgotten screen setter will occasionally work to the Raptors’ advantage, as they can slip the screen while cutting to the rim after screening for two other perimeter players in the hopes of converting at the rim from a lob pass. The hope is that their defender is dragged towards the sideline while preemptively doubling the primary target, which would then free them for an alley-oop.

Option 2: DHO Inbounder

One of the most popular basketball idioms would tell you that the inbounder is the most dangerous player on the court. When it comes down to the closing seconds of a shot clock, the Raptors leverage this to their advantage as a last resort if the previous options are explored without success. After inbounding the ball to the twice-over screen setter, the inbounder engages in a quick dribble handoff (DHO) that effectively works as a pick-and-roll to get them penetration into the middle of the floor.

The defense has likely been tugged north-south and east-west during the entirety of this inbounds play and the Raptors count on them blowing a coverage just once, while near perfection a necessity for the opposition to get a stop.

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