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Denver Nuggets Set of the Week: "Horns Italy"

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The set of the week is a weekly series that diagrams and explains one of the best Denver Nuggets offensive plays, sets, or actions. This week's set is called Horns Italy.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in this series we looked at some Horns sets that the Nuggets have ran this season, Horns Lift & Horns Flex. Mike Malone has a great Horns series and this set is another one designed to get Danilo Gallinari into a Pick & Roll. This set is called Horns Italy because the pindown into a step ballscreen is a very common action throughout Europe, and Gallinari is from Italy so it helps me remember the action by this name.

Starting off with a pass to the elbow, Gallinari walks his man in and sets a cross screen for the opposite wing. This screen is really more of a quick pause and then exiting out of the downscreen from the opposite big. Boston used this action for Paul Pierce scores when Doc Rivers coached the Celtics:

Utilizing this action for Gallinari, after the pindown the big will step up into a ballscreen.

Italy 1

The big who sets a pindown then turns and sets ballscreen for Gallinari to attack off of. This set (as seen in the video) can have multiple different options off of it for high low, and if run with a stretch 4 the Nuggets can empty the side with 4 on it and this set becomes extremely difficult to guard (as seen in the second clip in the video with Arthur hitting a 3, not a steady enough look to run long term, but great action nonetheless).

Italy 2

I like the creative ways Malone uses Gallinari, and next week we will look at another way out of Horns the Nuggets use Gallinari to score.