The Knicks preseason has been off to a rough start with Derrick Rose in Los Angeles for his rape case, Joakim Noah battling injury and the team getting smoked by Houston in their opening preseason game.
New York got a bit of refuge last night when they defeated the Nets at Madison Square Garden, but at today’s practice, head coach Jeff Hornacek may have opened another can of worms when he commented on Phil Jackson’s favorite, the triangle offense.
Hornacek was asked to respond to Chauncey Billups, who said that the Knicks have, “a very bad system, the triangle” during an ESPN studio show. The first-year Knicks head coach told the New York Daily News that “guys, first of all, don’t like to run it:”
Hornacek said when teams are in their halfcourt sets they all run a variation of the triangle. The difference is that most NBA teams get into their offense quicker and that running the triangle exclusively will slow the pace.
“I think that’s where most people are coming from,” Hornacek said. “If you end up being a slowdown team and never end up getting easy buckets and you’re running that halfcourt set all the time… guys, first of all, don’t like to run it.
“But secondly, it makes it very difficult to get easy buckets early in the offense and I think in today’s game those early buckets are nice to get. We’re not running it every time. We’re mixing it here and there. Hopefully, for us it’s a good thing we can do when we need to execute a play on a dead ball that we have something to go to.”
Last season, Derek Fisher began to move away from the triangle and once he was fired and replaced with interim coach Kurt Rambis, the Knicks went back to running the old school offense. Hornacek pledges that Jackson has been hands off:
“Phil’s been great,” Hornacek added. “He’s not trying to take over and make us do anything. He’s giving us the leeway. There are some things that we do that aren’t the triangle stuff; our early stuff that quite honestly we probably thought he’d say ‘let’s not do that, or let’s not do this option.’ But he hasn’t said that at all.
“He’s just trying to give us hints on when we’re in the halfcourt sets. Just how to really execute it. It’s great help.”