From KnicksTape: I know this sounds crazy, but do you think JR Smith could be a better player to build a triangle offense around and the Knicks should try to sign and trade Melo instead of resigning him.
Harris DeckerA few days ago on the TKB Podcast, we first raised this question from KnicksTape. It stuck in my head and I wanted to discuss it in full.
What this question tells me, above all else, is that Knicks fans are still learning what is involved in the triangle offense. The system requires players with the ability to shoot from outside, shoot from inside, pass and cut.
That makes J.R. Smith a perfect piece in the triangle. The only area that Smith isn’t above-average in is passing.
I believe that if Smith is a part of Phil Jackson’s long term plan, he and Iman Shumpert can and will flourish. The system was designed with players like those two in mind. Fast, tall guards that can shoot inside and out. Smith’s ability to consistently knock down outside shots should be fun to watch.
That being said, saying that Smith is the “better player to build a triangle offense around” is silly. Carmelo Anthony is the best player on the Knicks and the ideal triangle big. He can play in both the inside and outside spots, with the ability to shoot from anywhere on the court. The attention that he will draw in the post will help to setup the rest of the triangle. Finding a big that has those qualities is much harder to find.
Without Anthony, Smith and Shumpert would be far less effective. You need the big guy who can shoot to set the entire triangle up. Smith can be a great player in the triangle but if you’re thinking about building around a player in that system, Anthony has to be the priority player.