Title: Film study: Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan have been hooking up for the same alley-oop play for years
Date: November 24, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I broke down a Kyle Lowry-DeMar DeRozan mind-meld play, a staple they’ve used to get easy alley-oops against sleepy defenses for years.
As Kyle Lowry brought the ball up the court early in the first quarter on Wednesday, DeMar DeRozan crossed half-court with a familiar and casual gate. For years now, Lowry and DeRozan have been building a quiet chemistry, one that often sees them trade off possessions, quarters, or even games as the team’s dominant ball-handler and initiator.
They’ve also built cohesion running plays together, a natural occurrence for two smart, talented players who have spent thousands of minutes on the floor side-by-side. The Raptors employ a number of strategies for using their all-stars together, and it extends beyond Lowry spacing the floor with his elite shooting around DeRozan drives and post-ups. Their chemistry is some of the benefit of keeping a core intact long-term, with an inherent organizational intelligence grown by connected experience, allowing the team not only to run their sets better but extend them, add counters and continuations, and generally make their best offence harder to defend, even if some of the plays remain the same.
There is the highly effective two-one pick-and-roll the team will use late in games to create mismatches, there are plays specifically for DeRozan that the team will run with Lowry to mix things up, and there’s a play known as Rip Punch that should be very familiar after the last week, especially to the New York Knicks.