New York Knicks president Phil Jackson wants the Knicks to abide by the rules of “learning the triangle” and “playing the triangle. The team walked away from running the triangle in the beginning of the season, but Jackson was not going to watch his team not run his system.
Jackson was active in the Knicks informal team workout today to teaching and grooming the guards into learning the triangle sources told ESPN reporter Ian Begley. Jackson was not on the sidelines teaching, he was hands on and actually on the court with the players.
Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE EVIDENCE THAT THE KNICKS ARE COMMITTED TO RUNNING THE TRIANGLE: TEAM PRESIDENT PHIL JACKSON WAS TEACHING SOME KNICKS GUARDS THE OFFENSE FOR ABOUT A HALF HOUR BEFORE AN INFORMAL TEAM WORKOUT YESTERDAY, PER LEAGUE SOURCES. IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT JACKSON IS INTENT ON RUNNING THE TRIANGLE, AS SOURCES WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORKOUT TOLD ESPN THAT HE WAS HANDS ON IN INSTRUCTING THE OFFENSE WITH KNICKS GUARDS BEFORE THE WORKOUT. JEFF HORNACEK HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE TEAM HAS RUN MORE OFTEN TRIANGLE LATELY. HE SAYS HE WELCOMES JACKSON’S INPUT, BUT A TEAM PRESIDENT CONDUCTING A WORKOUT WITH PLAYERS IS NOT THE NORM AROUND THE NBA.
Later on today, head coach Jeff Hornacek confirmed Begleys’ report.
It’s odd with 17 games to go the President is finally on the court showing the guards what the triangle suppose to look like. The season is winding down and seems like the president is leaning towards tanking and helping out the young guards for the future.
Hornacek said this was a pre-planned session with the Knicks guards. Derrick Rose was included after he made a blur statement about running the triangle. Rose is a free agent this offseason and it is unlikely that he will re-sign with New York. After all, a player will not resign with a team that he does not feel comfortable running the system or process.
Phil Jackson had the guards working on plays that are deeply in the triangle system.
According to Al Iannazzone, Hornacek said:
“HE HAD OUR GUARDS OUT THERE JUST SHOWING THEM A COUPLE THINGS THAT ARE KIND OF PROBABLY FURTHER ALONG IN THE TRIANGLE PROCESS THAN WE’RE AT NOW THAT HE WANTED TO SHOW THEM JUST TO GIVE THEM AN IDEA OF THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN.”
Even though it was only for the guards, Carmelo Anthony was present to the practice.
Knowing that Jackson is spending his time at the end of the season practicing the triangle is an indication that he will not opt out of his contract.
Hornacek does not seem to happy that Jackson is trying to remove some of his coachings and putting in his own “options” to the playbook.
“YOU KEEP USING THE WORD INSTALL, NOBODY INSTALLED ANYTHING YESTERDAY. SHOWED A COUPLE OF OPTIONS.”
Jeff Hornacek is possibly being challenged as a head coach by Phil Jackson. Reason for that assumption because Derek Fisher went on SiriusXM NBA Radio that “Jackson’s presence and insistence in running the triangle offense also made it challenging for the players to understand who was coaching the team.”
After the practice Sasha Vujacic spoke to the media about how practice went running the triangle.
“Honestly, it was amazing, it was a really good session. We were told the right things, we were taught the right way and it felt good.”
Sasha Vujacic wasn’t the only player who like running the triangle, Kristaps Porzingis came out and told the media that he love to run the triangle. Porzingis wanted the team to run the triangle since opening day.
Porzingis talked to some reporters last week about the triangle.
“WE’RE STARTING TO LEARN IT NOW THE WAY WE SHOULD,” PORZINGIS SAID, “WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLAYING FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON.”
Porzingis believes that every game the Knicks are getting better at this form of offense. Jeff Hornacek has recently turned towards it, likely as a result of Phil Jackson.
“EVERY GAME WE’RE GETTING A LITTLE BETTER, HOPEFULLY, I DON’T KNOW WHEN WE CAN START USING IT PROPERLY AND MAKING SOME IMPACT PLAYING IT,” SAID HORNACEK.
Phil Jackson should seriously think about making a return as a head coach, if he wants his team to run the triangle badly.
18 games to go and the Knicks is still 5+ games away from a playoff spot.