Don't look now but the New Orleans Hornets are 20-10, just 1 game behind the San Antonio Spurs for the Southwest division lead. I've written about the exploits of Chris Paul who I think is developing into if not already one of the best point guards in the league. Tonight, the Hornets faced the Cavs at home and I wanted to really take a look at what they do on offense.

A lot of people say the NBA is all 1-on-1, in fact, a lot of high school coaches I talk to won't even watch the NBA because of it. But there are many times where there are some great sets being run. I didn't watch the whole game but in the 2nd quarter, the Hornets ran a few plays out of the 2-3 high set. I really like both the 1-4 and 2-3 high, especially against aggressive M2M teams that overcommit. It relieves pressure on the perimeter and opens things up for backdoor opportunities. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,

The Cavs don't actually play aggressive pressure defense on the perimeter. They are mostly a stay at home team that rebounds well and relies on their size. Regardless, I still think the 2-3 set works well as you can see in the second sequence, all the backdoor action causes the defense to then oversag to compensate, this allows the wing 3-pointer to be open.

2-3 High Set:

The Hornets start out with a simple pass from one side to the other wing. The first player will then cut all the way to the basket off of a UCLA screen by O5. O1 cuts off the O5 screen as well and clears out to the opposite block.

Now if O2 is open off of the backdoor cut, then O3 should hit him right away. Now the Cavs do a good job defending all the back door cuts because they mostly play underneath anyway.

The play continues with more backdoor cuts. O3 passes back up top to O5 who pops out to receive the pass. Simultaneously, O2 and O1 set upscreens for O3 and O4 respectively who cut hard to the basket. If either are open, O5 hits either for the quick layup.

In this case, neither are open, and O2 comes up after setting the upscreen to receive a handoff pass from O5 and then it's just PNR from there with the shot clock winding down.

Hornets coach Byron Scott used to be one of my favorite players. I still remember him playing here in Vancouver for about half a year, he was one of the nicer guys I remember and seemed to really understand the game. I like what I've seen so far from the Hornets and I'll be sure to keep my eye on them the rest of the season.

If your interested in any high-post offenses or the like, take a look at Geno Auriemma's DVD on the high-post offense. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to discuss this and any of your favorite basketball topics.