Chicago: How the Raptors hunted offense late

How the Raptors weaponized their superstar late.

Despite living in Toronto, I've never been inside the CN Tower. I have, however, been inside the John Hancock Center in Chicago for a tremendous brunch. A super skyscraper of the structural expressionist variety. The Raptors offense wouldn't typically be referred to as structural. In fact, those who promote it call it a "motion" offense -- expressive in its motion? maybe -- which could be seen as generous. However, with Nick Nurse away for personal reasons, Adrian Griffin went to a different late game action than the Raptors usually do. My brunch in Chicago? Good eating. Looks like the Raptors found food in the same place.

The Raptors were able to keep the Pistons at bay late in their win because of the 'Chicago' action. 'Chicago' action is a DHO (dribble hand-off) with a pin-down in-between it. It's an absolute staple of every single offense in the NBA, and so much so that my pointing it out might make you say something like "something that simple has a name?". Well, everything has a name in basketball.

It's not necessarily scripted for Scottie Barnes to cut through/clear out here, so a nice heads up from him to create more space on the wing and muddy some of the Pistons help-side principles by dragging Ivey into the paint, when Siakam clearly wants space to work in the middle. Siakam was 8-10 from the floor in the second half, a decent chunk with his pull-up, so the Raps followed that impulse.

A trend that held from earlier this season? The Raptors halfcourt offense is still really good with Siakam on the court. Almost 13 points better per 100 possessions, which is one of the largest swings for any one player in the NBA. Nice to see them focus on getting him looks late in the game.

14 thoughts on “Chicago: How the Raptors hunted offense late”

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