Since Phil Jackson took over as Knicks president, he’s insisted that the team run some version of the Triangle Offense that brought him so much success during his coaching days. The results in New York, however, have been less than inspiring the past few seasons as a rotating cast of characters has struggled to learn its nuances or implement its schemes.
The growing consensus is that you need at least one Hall-of-Fame-level player to make it work, and that’s an assessment Celtics’ point guard Isaiah Thomas wholeheartedly agrees with, although he feels confident that his former coach Jeff Hornacek will find a way to make things work now that he’s coaching the Knicks. Via Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News:
“I just think if you don’t have Kobe or Shaq or Michael Jordan, the triangle doesn’t work,” the Celtics All-Star told the Daily News.
“He’ll figure it out, even if he does do it a little bit. I see they’re trying to run it every now and then,” said Thomas, who torched the Knicks in four games last season while averaging 26.8 points and 7.5 assists. “I mean, it might work. Just hopefully not against us.”
Jackson has said previously that he believes Carmelo Anthony fits the bill, but Anthony has expressed no uncertain amount of ambivalence toward the Triangle during Jackson’s tenure.
It remains to be seen exactly what type of offense Hornacek will run in New York, especially since Jackson has reportedly opted for a more hands-off approach to managing his new head coach. If he does indeed have as much autonomy as Jackson suggests, it’s likely we’ll see a more contemporary approach to their offense, something more closely resembling the uptempo style he ran in Phoenix.
The Knicks are always a compelling team to watch – much in the same way that you drop everything you’re doing to watch your cat when its about to do something crazy to see whether it seriously maims itself – and they should be a particularly fascinating group this season with all the expectations surrounding the revamped roster and coaching staff.