Raptors Playbook: Snap Uphill DHO
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 Snap Uphill DHO play – a set that leverages Kyle Lowry’s screening and pull-up shooting going to his left. Watch the video embedded below alongside the summary written, and remember to follow and subscribe to never miss out on a video.
As was recently covered in my extensive breakdown of the Toronto Raptors’ Snap Series, Snap refers to the pass-and-chase action that initiates this play. The Raptors have a lot of different actions that stem from this and will usually flow into something more akin to a read-and-react, motion offense when they use the Snap initiator. However, this set is different in that it more or less has a desired outcome.
After Lowry and the 4 engage in pass-and-chase, Lowry will throw a second pitch ahead pass to the 5 situated at the other elbow. Lowry will then use this player as a brush screen before he engages in an off-centred Flex action. He will often slip the cross screen before using the down screen, but sometimes makes legitimate contact with the Flex cutter.
Regardless, the Raptors are not looking to pass to the player making the Flex cut. Instead they choose to flow into the Uphill DHO portion of the play, which involves Lowry starting near the baseline and cutting up to the perimeter (with the use of a down screen) before utilizing a dribble handoff.
To my knowledge, the Raptors have only run this action for Lowry and is among a very small subsection of their playbook that is entirely personnel specific. As a result, they will always run i so that Lowry is drifting toward his left when engaging in the Uphill DHO. Lowry much prefers going to his left when shooting, so this forces the defense to respect his ability to shoot a pull up jumper above-the-break. If they do not, he will make them pay from deep.
When they do decide to trail over the top of the DHO, forcing Lowry to put the ball onto the floor and drive, he is in a typical spread ball screen situation where he is reading the shake man’s defender to see if they adequately bump the roller. When the roller’s path to the rim after the DHO is left unimpeded, Lowry has the freedom to pass it to them on the dive. When the roller is tagged and the shake-man is left free, Lowry can pass to them on the strong side of the floor for an open jumper along the wing.
Note: This was the 15th and likely be the last typical Raptors Playbook post of the season until Las Vegas Summer League. In the hopes that time allows for it, there will be a playoff film room preview to look out for.