Harris DeckerSince 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.
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: