Learn 'Horns'

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Learn 'Horns'

Post by bobheckler on Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:14 pm

This is a great learning video for fans who want to be able to think like a coach.  He shows multiple options off of 'Horns' and says, on the last option he shows, that it's one the Celtics used to run back in the '60s.  Can you recognize it?



http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/30/learn-the-nba-play-horns-youll-see-it-a-lot-video/



During the season you’ll read plenty here at PBT (or from other writers) talking about it, you hear analysts mention it on broadcasts all the time:

Horns.

Along with “floppy” and a few others it is one of the NBA’s standard sets that gets run by almost every team at points in a game. In a good video for a Friday night learning session, Coach Nick of BBallBreakdown walks you through the basics of horns and how a few teams work out of it (such as the Warriors with the elevator screen they run for Stephen Curry).

Watch this and come the season you will start to recognize this action all the time. Then when you’re watching a Warriors game at a bar you can yell out “horns” when they start the play… then the cute girl next to you gives you an odd look and moves a few seats down. So maybe don’t yell it out. But you’ll recognize it at least.






bob


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Re: Learn 'Horns'

Post by Outside on Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:03 pm

Bob,

Thanks for the video. I would've used this offense when I was coaching.

The one thing they didn't show was how it can get good shots for the post players, but I can see variations on it that would easily accomplish that.

One disadvantage to it is positioning for transition defense. If I recall correctly, either one or both guards are down toward the baseline almost all of the time, which would leave the team vulnerable to run-outs on turnovers and long rebounds. But if you can take care of the ball and put the ball in the basket, it's less of an issue.
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Re: Learn 'Horns'

Post by bobheckler on Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:17 am

Outside wrote:Bob,

Thanks for the video. I would've used this offense when I was coaching.

The one thing they didn't show was how it can get good shots for the post players, but I can see variations on it that would easily accomplish that.

One disadvantage to it is positioning for transition defense. If I recall correctly, either one or both guards are down toward the baseline almost all of the time, which would leave the team vulnerable to run-outs on turnovers and long rebounds. But if you can take care of the ball and put the ball in the basket, it's less of an issue.
outside,

I didn't see it that way.

If the players in the corners are the horns, then the point guard on top is the chin of the beast.  That's one guard on top right there.  The other assumption you're making, I  believe, is that the two players at the foul line doing the drop pitch etc. are bigs.  One of them could be a SG or SF.  They were just bigs on this video, does that mean they have to be bigs?

With the "elevator up" option off of Horns, you'd have the point guard with the ball on one side on top and have the SG or SF take the elevator up.  Then you'd have both guards or a guard and the SF on top.

What I find interesting about this, aside from that it's actual play calling and not just individual players beating other individual players, is that it doesn't run off the post, neither high nor low.   I think you are absolutely right when you say Horns doesn't set up players low, it's all about setting up shooters.  I suppose you could have someone like KO taking the ball from Rondo high, FAKING the drop pitch to the SF/SF flashing high and now it's a high post option offense instead of horns, which appears to be a point guard driven offense.  

For a team that doesn't attack the offensive boards, which we did not do under Doc and maybe won't do under Stevens, Horns looks like a good set.  Using your appraisal, you'd have two bigs that aren't trapped under the basket and can get back on defense.  I think it is a good set, also, if you have a gifted floor leader, high IQ and superior vision point guard like we have with Rondo.  Rondo likes to watch the play unfold in front of him and that's Horns (he is sometimes guilty of watching and waiting too long, but that's another issue).  If you are a team that crashes the boards, then maybe not so much since you've got at least two players at the foul line or higher.  So, a team like Minny, with Love and Pekovic, might not like this so much (except maybe for "elevator up".  Boy, could they slam those doors shut!) because they're not particularly fast and couldn't get into position for an offensive board in time.  They would, however, have a better chance of getting back on defense.  It would, on the other hand, take Pekovic completely out of the offense.

I love this stuff.  I am SO underwhelmed by tall, athletic men stuffing a ball through a 10' high hoop.  If Nate Robinson can do that then how can it be more impressive that someone a foot taller than him can do it?  This, however, is ALL about teamwork.  It's ALL about the GAME of basketball and not as much about the players.  Sure, you need to have the shooter on the floor to take the shot, but getting him a GOOD shot is what this is all about.  The non-Sportcenter highlight.  The ho-hum play.  The one that works because of execution and not because a player got lucky or made a mind-blowing shot.  I'd love for this site to do the same video for that other regular NBA play they mentioned, "floppy".  Please, Sir, could I have some more?  Feed my brain, feed my brain.


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Re: Learn 'Horns'

Post by gyso on Mon May 05, 2014 6:54 pm

bobh,

NYCelt is wise, I took his advice.

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Re: Learn 'Horns'

Post by bobheckler on Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:25 pm

bump
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Re: Learn 'Horns'

Post by Sam on Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:47 pm

Bob,

The last play looks a lot like the old Celtics "6" play, also called the "Philly" play because guess whom the Celtics stole it from. It was one of the few plays Red used that didn't originate with the ball being handled by a post player.

The play they used most (I'd guess on at least 40% of their possessions because the number of options made it non-redundant. I can't recall what they called it. I called it simply the "double cut." It started with a guard throwing an entry pass to the center in the high post. Then the two guards would criss cross either in front of or behind the center, and that was the catalyst that started moving defensive players around as all hell started to break loose. There were options involving every player, and virtually every option involved getting more switches among defenders. But the play wouldn't work with a great point guard to spot and take advantage of the openings that occurred. And sometimes an opening wasn't required because a height mismatch would serve just as well.

One of the simpler options out of the double cut was for the center immediately to turn and shoot a jumper from the top of the key, and that worked great when Ed MacAuley was playing center for the Celts but basically fell out of the option list with Russell out there.

I saw Brad run the double cut play a few times last season with mixed success. I also saw him utilize the old weave at least a dozen times. An added dimension of pleasure in harking back a few decades.

Basically, whatever play Red used, the entire team had to be on the same page in sensing when anyone on the team (not just the point guard) might spot an opportunity and choose to initiate an option. It was the ultimate "read and react" gambit, and everyone had to react at the same time.

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