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Many professional, collegiate, and European teams are looking to take advantage
of big men who are much more skilled than they were just a few short years ago.
The offense of choice has become the Horns offense. This offense relies on
having two big men who can execute basic offensive fundamentals effectively and
a point guard who can run the team on the floor. It also has been a help
to coaches who look to take advantage of player abilities while retaining some
degree of control.
Advantages of the Horns Offense
The primary advantage of the Horns offense or any set play offense is that it
can be used to set up entries into any other offense. For example, say a
team wanted to run the Flex offense and needed a way to get into the offense in
a half-court setting. The Horns offense allows for multiple looks and
plays. Later in this piece, you will be able to see how you can get into
an offense like the Flex offense.
The second advantage of this offense is that it allows the team to take
advantage of skilled big men. For this offense to succeed, bigs have to be
capable of playing away from the basket and having a skill set not unlike that
of a perimeter player. He needs to be a threat to face up to the basket
and shoot the mid- or long-range jumper and put the basketball on the floor.
The final advantage presented is that the Horns offense can effectively utilize
a point guard if he is the best player on the team. For example, many NBA
teams have been running the Horns offense to take advantage of great point
guards. The best example is the Phoenix Suns who have been running this
offense for Steve Nash. Nash is able to take advantage of his playmaking
skills within the framework of the system.
Disadvantages of the Horns Offense
In some respects, the Horns offense is similar to the 1-4 High offense.
However, as opposed to the 1-4 High offense, this offense has fewer entry
options. This is because the wings are located in the corners and not at
the free throw line-extended. This prevents certain entries from taking
place that would normally take place in a 1-4 High offense.
As mentioned earlier, this offense requires skilled big men. If your team
has a big man who struggles with jump shots or with the dribble, this may not be
the offense for you. Bigs need to be capable of shooting from distances
greater than most other offenses allow and be good ballhandlers.
Pinch Post Series
Each of the series presented have a basic maneuver that has to be
executed for the basic play to work. The first series is the Pinch
Post Series. Here, the point guard is going to enter the
basketball to the high post and the ball-side wing will cut backdoor as
shown in Diagram 1. This is used to clear the side to set up the
handoff between the post and the point guard as it will be shown in the
remaining diagrams related to this series.
From the Pinch Post Series, there are three plays that can be run
from it. The first is the help-side stagger double shown in
Diagram 2. Here, #2 will set the first screen of the stagger
double for #3 if he does not get the ball on the backdoor.
As with any pinch post entry, If #1 does not get the handoff, he will
cut back to the wing on his side.
The next play is a help-side flex play (Diagram 3). Here, #2 will set the
back screen for #3 who will make the baseline cut. After this, #5 will set
a down screen for #2.
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