Phil Jackson continues to find new ways to be bad at his job. Jackson is one of the NBA’s all-time greatest coaches (arguably the greatest), but as the President of Basketball Operations for the Knicks he has been at best below average and at worst one of the league’s worst executives.
After failing to run Carmelo Anthony out of town prior to the NBA trade deadline, Jackson’s latest effort to turn the Knicks around is to make Jeff Hornacek reinstitute the triangle offense as the Knicks preferred system. Yes, rather than focus on improving the NBA’s 25th ranked defense (108.7 defensive rating), the Knicks are going to try and fix their problems by putting in what is now a mostly obsolete offensive system to improve a league average offense (105.0 offensive rating, 16th in the NBA).
Not only are they putting the triangle back in for the final two months of the regular season, but they are going to use that time to evaluate players for the future, which would indicate that this is going to be a long-term move.
This is the very same triangle offense that Carmelo Anthony was tired of talking about last November, and Anthony voiced his excitement to play in Hornacek’s up-tempo, transition offense when the Knicks hired him this off-season.
So, this is either another attempt at frustrating Anthony into waiving his no-trade clause (Anthony has one year left on his contract and then a player option for 2018-19) this offseason, or Jackson truly believes that the triangle can still work. Actually, this might be both. Jackson is extraordinarily stubborn and won’t give up on his efforts to revive the triangle in New York or move Anthony, and the worst part for Knicks fans is that it seems more than likely that he will fail at both.
James Dolan says he isn’t going to fire Jackson, who will get to at least finish his five-year contract through 2019, so I’m afraid Knicks fans are stuck in this seemingly never-ending loop of the triangle being in and out for at least a bit longer.