What exactly is the triangle offense?

Harris Decker

Since Phil Jackson was introduced as the new president of the New York Knicks, questions have swirled about what his presence will mean for the team on the court. When I spoke to Shannon Brown last week, he made it very clear that while he’s not the coach, when you have a system that has worked in the past, it makes sense to install it in New York.

Phil JacksonWhether you’re new to the NBA or simply paid more attention to the Knicks than the Lakers over the past decade, it’s fair to ask, what exactly is the triangle offense?

The triangle offense is a system in which there is a lot of passing and a lot of running. It’s predicated on the idea that any player on the court can shoot from almost any spot on the floor and it is nearly impossible to run without players who fit the criteria.

The triangle is formed by a guard, forward and center who start with the center on the block and the other two players near the arc on that side. The other two players are spaced way out on the far side.

This arrangement allows for a few things. First, the passing lanes are opened up because the other two players on the other side of the court are setting screens and constantly moving around. Second, the spacing gives players room to breakdown defenders and pass out of double teams with ease. The system will create open shots, more 3-point attempts and allow an elite scorer to thrive.

Looking back at the last time this offense was utilized under Jackson it is easy to see why it was so effective. In 2010, the Lakers used Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol to run the triangle. Notice that all three players can hit shots from almost anywhere and two of them are dead eye shooters from deep.

Over the next few months, we will look at the current Knicks roster and figure out which players can work inside this system.

For now, check out this video of the Lakers running the system in 2010:




95 comments
melo7
melo7

You don't know jack about the triangle and not to be harsh but this sucks

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

This is amatuer hour on this blog right now except for me because the other intelligent posters have smartly left the building. I will now let the fun and games of the Heat, Pacer, Thunder and Bulls fans go unchallenged because arguing with ignorance is futile. 

It's been a blast making you guys feel like nons. Have a ___________ day. 

hashburry
hashburry

The explanation above was actually informative and relevant.  Thank you.  Now, it is pretty easy to project which players will fit that system.  I guess Melo.  Maybe Hardaway.  Well, time to start shopping.

Michael Kemp
Michael Kemp

it don't matter what system we put in place the fact is they had people that could shoot the ball and make it in..now for the knicks they have two players at best that can shoot and im be nice with that..everyone else just sucks and cant shoot or play defense so it wont matter

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

This is just a my repost for all to see and ponder:


And why are Kobe and MJ top of all time? Because the won chips perhaps? 

Let's say Kobe had the team he and Phil had but D'toni was the coach all those years. Would you still say that?

Let's say Jordan had the team he and Phil had but Woody was the coach those championship years. Would they have won chips?


FVCK NO! You guys really don't know what you're talking about when referring to Melo.

nixredux
nixredux

@sir_man

I have no doubt that you're a Knicks fan, and there's plenty of room to share the blame without Melo being the focal point of the blame, but if what you're saying that he leads by example and needs to be surrounded by veteran vocal leaders, then his best bet to win would be in a place like Chicago. Where he could just focus on scoring and won't be relied on to do more.

nixredux
nixredux

@firebald

Aren't you the same kid who threw a temper tantrum and threatened to report lobcity because of his Obama/Joker avatar? LOL. Gee kid, what happened to freedom of expression? Why so serious?

Ok. Fine, you're right. Melo did take a heroic stand against Karl/Dantoni/ Lin/Landry and whoever wanted to play team ball and didn't kowtow and show him the proper "respect".

At 30yrs old, how many more stands is he going to take? As talented as he is, does he feel that insecure about his talent and position on the NBA hierarchy?

Again, I like Melo and want him to succeed with the Knicks, but not at the expense of the Knicks.

I'm betting you follow Melo on tweeter. And that's fine But try to be objective Knicks fan, or are you really just a Melo fan disguised as a knicks fan?

rico
rico

first of all Jackson isn't coaching and he said over and over and over…."I don't need the coach to run the triangle, I just like system basketball and more flow than simply the pick and roll".  He said this about 100 times during his first week.  So all this talk of the triangle is folly until there is a new coach and a designated "system" in place.  


As for the "right kind of players" I guess you'd be talking about ones who "comprehend the system and abide by it"…repeat what I say…"the dude abides". 


If you look at the old bulls circa Mikey, Pippen and a gaggle of bigs that were as mobile as the washington monument I'd say "there are systems and there are situations that work"…as in "you have to know the rules to break em". I mean Will Perdue, Scott Williams and Luc Longley weren't exactly sprightly players who moved well. they were sheet-kickers not "triangulists".


Find players that can play both sides of the ball, are coachable and your 99% there. The knicks don't have those 2 ingredients now.

nixredux
nixredux

@sir_man

Believe it or not, I like Melo, he's no doubt talented- top ten in current league. But Kobe and MJ were self driven players and mentally tough.

The difference being Melo needs someone to hold his hand- guide him and tell him "here's the ball, now shoot it." That's what makes him one dimensional at this point.

Ask yourself this, as a leader, why does Melo pout so much? Why does he always need to "get his", at the expense of the team winning.

Did you notice during the Linsanity

era Melo went from being excited about joining the team after his injuries, to becoming obsessed with proving to everyone that he was the "man". That the Knicks were his team.

Again, I admire Melo's talent, but I try to be an objective Knicks fan. Not just a blind Melo fan. Besides, do you really think Melo cares about your loyalty to him? Does he help put food on your table? You must be young to live so vicariously through him, as most young fans on this blog do.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

One possibility that no one has brought up is that we could have a new coach and an offensive coordinator. When Phil became coach of the Bulls, Tex Winter was the man who implemented the triangle. When Doc Rivers won his ring in Boston, Thibs was running the defense.

When Phil said he was on a talent search, I'm pretty sure he was talking about more than players. When you talk about changing the culture, it is more of a change on the defensive side of the ball. We don't have an offensive problem. Despite the flaws in Woody's ISO system, we have been 4th since Bargnani went down. We are still 25th on defense and that's were we need to focus.

If I were the Knick of the Knicks, I would find a defensive oriented head coach and then find an offensive coordinator to implement a system. 

The key would be to not fix what wasn't broken. We can score, we just need to get a system that doesn't result in ISO's for the last 5 minutes of every close game. On defense, we need to get more talented players and a system. That's where the work needs to be done. That's where fundamentals need to be taught, retaught, and taught again.

nixredux
nixredux

@xmen

A coach(teacher) can stress fundamentals & basics all day long, in the end, the players have to execute.

We all know, Woody did not have a good year coaching, we all know that, but some people on this board still act like those students who never study or skip class and then blame their teachers for failing.

If Melo can't win under the triangle, watch people blame the triangle for being a faulty system.

ericccb
ericccb

@sir_manolo  You have got to be kidding me. I'm not saying Melo is a loser but how can you even compare him to Lebron, Kobe and MJ with their rings. Talk about idiotic commenters, get lawst

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@firebaldy First of all, those players in their prime would have gotten a bum coach like Pringles and Woody out of there!  

You keep making excuses for what Melo needs or doesn't have.  He has max dollars and considered a superstar by many.  

So let him act like it and live up to it by getting his team to win something.   If he needs certain players or a coach then go to the FO and demand it. 

Melo is not a leader dude.  He's a scorer that needs to find a team that needs mostly just that!  that's the Bulls man!   

Melo is a Bosh looking to tag along to a team that has the pieces. The Bulls are that team!

rico
rico

@nixredux  Melo can take it. The big cheese who gets paid the big money is also the lightening rod for criticisms. It comes with the package. I'm very impressed on how well Melo handles himself in NY with the media and the fans, and with the criticism.  Marbury flipped out and couldn't deal with it.  Melo can. 


But Melo is not a leader, he'd so well with Noah, who is a leader and a ferociously tenacious player. Noah would dog Melo and keep him focused. 


Now how do we get him to the Knicks? :)

a_dilla
a_dilla

@nixredux This is the KNICKS blog....If Melo leaves eff him. Why speculate on if another team would be a good/better fit?

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@nixredux  You're not being objective you're being bias toward those who have won championships. Guess what? Perfect storms were in place in order for those chips to be won.

There were no wack azz coaches involved in those chips---no junkies on those teams---no out of shape limited point guards on those teams. Melo is in a horrendous situation so that makes him look bad so your supposed objectivity is nothing but frontrunning.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@nixredux  

Goodness, MJ and Kobe are top 10 of all-time. Only LeBron is in that class, based on current players.

Surely Melo has his faults, but not measuring up to MJ and Kobe is not a fair criticism.

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@nixredux  BS. The Lin and Landry show wanted Melo to play second fiddle and D'toni didn't want Melo. He knew that and took a stand. Melo takes the ball down court just like Kobe and MJ did. Kobe and MJ were ball hogs ON GOOD TEAMS. Melo has good reason to have the ball in his control. If Melo had a good team around him and a great coach like MJ and Kobe and had won a chip you wouldn't be saying this bvllshit. 

It's because they won chips that you're now riding them. You're not simply being "objective" at all. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@nixredux Melo won't be around for a Triangle!  Melo don't need a system, he needs to be on a team where there's already the leadership and pieces to just allow him to concentrate on his own scoring.  The Bulls are that team for him.  

If he stays here, it will be bad for us and Melo imo. I hope we can get something for him that helps us out before he leaves.

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@dagawd @sir_manolo  You are a dullard. You actually remind me of Woodson. 

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@Knicks_Fanatic @nixredux  And why are Kobe and MJ top of all time? Because the won chips perhaps? 

Let's say Kobe had the team he and Phil had but D'toni was the coach all those years. Would you still say that?

Let's say Jordan had the team he and Phil had but Woody was the coach those championship years. Would they have won chips?


FVCK NO! You guys really don't know what you're talking about when referring to Melo.

ericccb
ericccb

@sir_manolo @ericccb  I'm saying he can't be the teams #1 option. Scoring option maybe but he needs more than a supporting cast. He needs a star that is going to lead this team. Is melo a great player? yes. leader? no

ericccb
ericccb

@sir_manolo @ericccb  He had good teams in denver. That team was coached by who? Phil Jackson. The Phil Jackson that is IN THE FRONT OFFICE NEXT YEAR. Not coaching. We don't know if he will have the same success.


Enough with the injuries, Knicks got beat. Truth is he doesn't have IT to get it done as the main guy. Needs another star.


You think everyone is wrong yet everyone is disagreeing with you. 

ericccb
ericccb

@sir_manolo @ericccb  0. Forget how many rings melo has. How many times has he made it to the championship tough guy?


i'll wait...

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@firebaldy @xmenreturnDude, you are here riding Melo jock instead of saying what's best for our team!  

I want us to win and if that means Melo or no Melo, I'm totally fine with it.  I'm just calling it the way I see it.

We have a superstar and that superstar can't even lead us to the playoffs maybe in the weak East and you want to blame everybody except Melo some himself.

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@xmenreturn @firebaldy  The point is a lot supposed fans on here are really frontrunning fans of other teams. They covet other players instead of supporting the star of this team. 

That to me is not a Knick fan. Some of you guys should be on the Heat or Thunder or Bulls blog. Go there so us Knick fans can have meaningful conversations about our team. You will not be missed.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@firebaldy @xmenreturnYep, keeping wishing and hoping instead of seeing that Melo is not a leader!  Dude is a scorer and some like you can't understand what the difference is.  You only look at the end results for his scoring stats and not whether his teams ever do anything.

rico
rico

@a_dilla @rico  aren't you the one who said "I don't post here much"? 


Those were the days

a_dilla
a_dilla

@rico @a_dilla  


Notes? For your remedial class?....No need

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@Sandro Guedes @firebaldy @nixredux  You know it all right? You are a know-it-all and that's what I know! You just seem to hate Melo for some reason. Usually that's how men display enviousness by using bravado when talking negatively about someone.

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@Sandro Guedes @firebaldy @nixredux  All the great players needed a good team and a great coach to win a chip. You guys seem to forget that when you go on your rants and start blindly comparing. Melo seemingly wants his chip here. With Phil maybe his wish can be obliged. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@sir_manolo @xmenreturnI hear ya but no one was saying MJ gagged in the clutch.  MJ always plaed good defense. It's just that he tried to do it himself. No the same as Melo.  


MJ was about winning period!

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@sir_manolo @xmenreturn@nixredux Dude, MJ was never selfish like Kobe was.  MJ just wanted to win so badly that others never could keep up so he tried to do it himself.  

Remember he had trouble with the Cavs (Harper) early on and he got them past that but against the Celtics, Bird and Co were just too good as a team to allow one dude to beat them.

Once Phil came along, MJ was very happy to share the rock and pick his spots to assert his offense.  

MJ is a very high b-ball IQ player and even Kobe. Melo is way below those guys on that even though he has great talent.