During their off season, the New York Knicks have been immersed into the triangle offense, which Phil Jackson is a follower, but things are not looking good for the team as potential free agents are not buying into the said concept. Rumors are swelling that free agents would rather sign up with other teams rather than stick it with the Knicks’ own offensive philosophy.
For Jackson, the triangle offense has helped him together with Tex Winters wherein the system’s most important feature is the sideline triangle created by the center, who stands at the low post, the forward at the wing, and the guard at the corner. The team’s other guard stands at the top of the key and the weak-side forward is on the weak-side high post — together forming the “two-man game.” The goal of the offense is to fill those five spots, which creates good spacing between players and allows each one to pass to four teammates. Every pass and cut has a purpose and everything is dictated by the defense.
It is the system that helped Jackson and Winters capture 11 NBA titles and believes that the same system will help the Knicks if all of its players come to embrace it. However, with the hiring of Jeff Hornacek as the team’s next head coach pending, the triangle offense might not come as handy all the time as Hornacek goes for the conventional point guard rotation and play.
Reports are swelling that Hornacek might push for the acquisition of Rajon Rondo and Jeremy Lin to help orchestrate the offense and lead the defense for the Knicks. Thus, the principles of the triangle might only come as an alternative play for them or might get flushed away from the team’s system.
Even former Knicks playmaker Chauncey Billups stated that the triangle offense is a big turnoff for any point guard on the free agency market.
“If I’m a top point guard and a free agent, I’m not going to want to be playing in that triangle,’’ Billups said. “A point guard needs more pick-and-roll, more freedom. It’s going to be restrictive to my play.’’
Billups concept of a point guard role is the same with Hornacek’s concept wherein he would go for high pick-and-rolls, 3-point shots and an up tempo kind of a game. The type of game that either Rondo and Lin likes to take advantage inside the court, thus the Knicks especially Jackson will have a lot of soul searching to do if he wants the team to be a top contender next season or just be mediocre.
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