Horns Offense

No Basket

The Case for the Defense

The Horns Offense is similar to the "MidScreen" Offense in that it involves high post mid screen action. If the "on ball" defender gets hung up on the high post screen it will most certainly result in an easy layup. When the screener is a strong post up player or good outside shooter it presents additional problems for the defense.

Whenever possible, the On-Ball defender should influence the ballhandler toward the screener who is the weakest offensive threat.

Defensive Fundamentals Required

Learn More  Defending Against Dribble Penetration

Learn More  Attacking On-Ball Screens

Learn More  Defending the Low Post Techniques

Learn More  Kick Out Pass Denials



Horns Schematic Sequence


Horns Offense Schematic


Defensive Strategies & Techniques Used To
Combat the Horns Offense


View  Basic NBA Show & Recover

View  All Out SOS Disruption


5 Stars


NBA Show & Recover

Basic NBA Show & Recover

Horns Offense

The Horns Offense is similar to the "Mid Screen" Offense in that it involves high post screening. If the defense is not prepared to defend against mid screens, it will certainly result in an easy lay-up or wide open shot.

Since the high post rub involves a "Big" screening against a "Little," most NBA teams do not like to switch. If the defense switches, the dribbler will simply flair to the wing allowing the screener to slide down and post up against the smaller defender.

Influencing the dribbler to their weak hand or away from the best postup screener are the preferred methods in the NBA in defending against the double mid screen action. However, defensive tactics will vary from team to team and from player to player.

Phase 1A: Show (sideline push)

Show.Defender X1 pushes ballhandler O1 to sideline. Defender X5 steps out and bumps (SHOWS) forcing O1 wide off 05's screen. X1 pursues O1 by going over the top of O5's pick. X2 assumes a pass denial position on shooter O2. X3 and X4 drop off to help out against O5's roll to the basket.

Phase 2: Recover

Recovering after the screen. Defender X1 catches up and pushes ballhandler O1 to the sideline or corner. O5 releases and RECOVERS back to O5 rolling to the basket and defender X4 closes out to a pass denial position against O4.

Phase 3: Final Match Up

Matching up after the screen. Defender X1 applies ball pressure and smothers O1. X5 assumes a defensive post position against O5, pushing O5 off the block. X2 and X4 assume pass denial positions against O2 and O4.

5 Stars

SOS Trap

All Out "SOS" Disruption

Total disruption of the "Horns" offense is achieved by the defense initiating the action before the first screen option can occur. In attacking and trapping the point guard before any screen or pass can take place, it forces the offensive players out of their planned routes and into a "free lance" situation . Once in this free lance mode, the defense can gain an advantage with execution of their basic defensive fundamentals and team SOS concepts.

Phase 1: Double Team (trap)

Trap on the first pass. Defensive player X1 pushes the point guard O1 to sideline checkpoint. Defender X5 steps out immediately and traps O1 with X1. X4 drops and bumps O5 rolling to basket. X2 closes out to a pass denial position against shooter O2. X3 drops off O3 into a low Helpside "I" position anticipating a pass out of the trap.

Phase 2: Pass Out of Trap

Pass out of the trap rotations. When O1 passes the ball out of the trap to O4, all players rotate according to the near player concept. X1 and X5 break out of the trap with X5 diving hard to O5 in low post area and X1 assuming a pass denial position on O1. X4 closes out quickly to O4 and assumes an on ball SET position pushing O4 toward the sideline checkpoint. Defender X3 closes out to a pass denial position of O3, and O2 drops into a low Helpside "I" position. Once matched up, basic SOS defensive principles are in effect.

Note: All rotations must take place as ball leaves passer's hands.

Phase 3: Final Alignment

Matching up after the screen. When O4 passes to wing O3, X3 assumes an on ball "Set" position and pushes the ball handler O3 to baseline checkpoint. X2 maintains a low Helpside "I" position against O2 and defender X1 assumes a high Helpside "I" position. X4 takes a high Helpside "I" pass denial position against O4, and X5 fronts O5 in low post.

Should ballhandler O3 drive baseline, "base go red" trap rotations occur. If O3 should pass to the post, "post trap" rotations take place.