Orlando Magic Playbook: A first look at the Orlando Magic’s offense

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Khem Birch, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic use Khem Birch as a screener in horns sets to spring their offense. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Horns Set

Another staple of the preseason system was a series of variations to the Horns set, where two players start at the extended elbows and the other two space to the corners.

The first design features a zipper screen by one of the Orlando Magic wing players veering around either teammate at the elbow. The other wing is spaced on the baseline before extending beyond the arc.

Here, the Magic run Michael Carter-Williams off the initial screen and have Dwayne Bacon space on the baseline. And on this play, the Magic included an additional wrinkle with Khem Birch screening over for the other big, Gary Clark, to pop towards the strong side.

But by the time the secondary action has developed, Carter-Williams is already attacking the paint.

The Magic like going to the Horns action after a stoppage in play, and in this instance, they set a double drag screen for Markelle Fultz at the top of the key.

The first screener, Clark in this case, then rolls to the hoop and receives a back-door screen on the weak side.

The Magic leaned heavily on this action when both Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz were on the floor. They ran some variation of Horns on three straight halfcourt possessions in their first matchup with Atlanta.

On this play, Cole Anthony is the lead ball-handler, and the Magic’s two wings (Markelle Fultz and Evan Fournier) line up in a box formation around the key. The Magic added a twist with Markelle Fultz and Evan Fournier setting a “Spanish” pick-and-roll back-door screen for Nikola Vucevic.

Markelle Fultz’s initial screen alters Clint Capela’s path enough for Nikola Vucevic to find a rhythm right-handed hook shot from the left baseline.

The Magic were likely practicing the “Spanish” pick-and-roll wrinkle because they ran it again in the second matchup against the Hawks.

The play begins with the initial Horns action (prior to the start of the below clip), and this time Bacon sets the back screen for Vucevic in the middle of the lane.

With two methodical rhythm dribbles, Vucevic finds his right-handed hook shot again: