Raptors Playbook: Motion Weak & Counter

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Raptors Playbook: Motion Weak & Counter


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 Motion Weak – a classic San Antonio Spurs play to space the floor around a post up after getting the defense moving laterally. Watch the video embedded below alongside the summary written, and remember to follow and subscribe to never miss out on a video.


Option 1: Post Up & Down Screen – Starting at 0:13


This play, a staple of the San Antonio Spurs offense for years, has become a pet-play of Nick Nurse’s to start the game or half.  The Point Guard will initiate the play with a dribble entry along the wing before passing the ball off. As the ball is reversed to the opposite side of the court, the Point Guard will make a shallow cut to the Weak Side.


Once the Point Guard has retrieved the ball again, they will force an exit cut from the nearest wing player. This player, typically a threat to shoot from the perimeter, will cut through the paint and set a “cross screen” for the desired post up player.


The Point Guard has the option to pass to the player establishing post position, or to wait for the perimeter shooter to receive a “down screen” and become open above-the-break for a catch and shoot 3-pointer.


Option 2: High Post DHO – Starting at 1:34


If no sufficient advantage is gained by the perimeter player using the “down screen”, the Raptors’ next option is triggered. The ball will be entered to the Centre in the high post near the “Nail”. From that point, the passer will make a basket-cut to potentially get a layup against over aggressive defenders that are playing to the high-side too much.


However, this basket-cut is unlikely to yield desirable results. This forces the Raptors to proceed to their next option of a dribble hand-off (DHO) with either of the two players on the weak side of the floor (either the Point Guard, or the player that attempted to post up on the low block).


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