Breaking It Down

Raptors Playbook: Pinch Hammer (“52”)

Raptors Playbook: Pinch Hammer ATO

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 Pinch Hammer ATO (“52”) – a play usually used in After Timeout situations to trickily get a Weak Side corner 3-point attempt. Watch the video embedded below alongside the summary written, and remember to follow and subscribe to never miss out on a video.

Option 1: “Hammer” – Starting at 0:17

This play and formation is out of the “Triangle” and their spacing reflects that. With a big on each elbow, the Weak Side of the floor forming a triangle with a guard in the deep corner and the other near the hashmark, as well as the ball handler initiating the play from the slot extended.

The ball handler enters the ball to the “Pinch Post” and then goes to quickly grab it back with a DHO. This action will take the Point Guard on a drive towards the baseline.

On the Weak Side of the floor, the corner player will exchange positions with the other wing and lift from the corner. The Center will then set a pseudo-flare screen (for all intents and purposes, a “Hammer Screen”) on the “Low-I” defender.

This opens up a pass along the baseline – “Hammer Pass” – for a corner three pointer.

Option 2: “Keeper” – Starting at 1:54

If the “Pinch Post” player decides to not hand the ball back to the point guard on the DHO and decide to “Keep” on that handoff, they will either engage in a handoff with a player from the weak side corner after they receive 2 off-ball screens, or they will reverse the ball to the opposite elbow. The former appears to be a separate play-call, while the latter appears to be a read out of the regular play. This option has been sparingly explored, but it seems as though it is just a free-throw line drive/post up once the ball is swung to the opposite elbow.

The call for this play appears to be “52”.

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