Breaking It Down

Raptors Playbook: Horns Flex Uphill DHO

Raptors Playbook: Horns Flex 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 Horns Flex Uphill DHO – an After Time Out (ATO) special play primarily designed to get Kyle Lowry a pull-up 3 pointer drifting 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.

Option 1: Flex Cut – Starting at 0:30

The play starts in Horns formation, with a player at each elbow, the point guard above the break, and the remaining two players in respective corners.

Lowry will enter the ball to the right elbow and quickly cut off the left elbow to the restricted area. This positions him to set a “Flex Screen” for the player in the right corner. The bigs at the elbow have the option to pass the ball to the “Flex Cutter” around the restricted area, so long as they have created an advantage to catch the ball for a quick finish.

Option 2: Uphill DHO – Starting at 1:20

Generally, the “Flex Cut” option does not produce a large enough advantage for which Toronto can reliably score. Toronto frankly rarely looks to score off that “Flex Cut” and it really sets up this option.

Lowry will generally “slip” the “Flex Screen” as cuts up the wing and receives a “Down Screen” of his own. This flows into a dribble hand-off (DHO) with the big at the opposite elbow. Lowry will routinely have lost his defender in the dust by this point, while the defender from the big engaging in the DHO is sagging too deep into the paint to properly contest the shot. Lowry is a major threat to pull up for three off that DHO and hits it routinely.

Last thing of note is that this play is admittedly very similar to what I called “Snap Uphill DHO” last year. However, the initiating action is slightly different, and frankly they have scored off of this one with greater regularity than last year and it felt as though this warranted a breakdown unto itself.

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