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Phil Jackson Unhappy With Knicks’ Offense

The new-look Knicks are off to a slow start this season, having won just two of their first six games, and according to Ian Begley of, team president Phil Jackson has been unhappy with his club’s performance on offense. Specifically, Jackson isn’t pleased with the numbers of times the Knicks have run the triangle offense, says Begley.

Although new head coach Jeff Hornacek has vowed to implement “principles of the triangle” offense into New York’s half-court sets, he has also made an effort to speed things up in the early going, writes Begley. One Eastern Conference scout tells Begley that during the Knicks’ Friday win over the Bulls, New York ran a play out of a triangle set just a handful of times.

While Jackson isn’t happy about the lack of triangle sets in the offense, some Knicks players aren’t thrilled about using it at all. Sources tell Begley that a few of the Knicks players have suggested that the triangle offense doesn’t suit the club’s personnel, including point guard Derrick Rose, who is more effective in pick-and-roll sets.

Although the offense may be a point of contention during the first two weeks of the season for the Knicks, their defensive performance has been of greater concern. The club entered play on Monday ranked dead last in points allowed per 100 possessions, and hasn’t allowed fewer than 102 points in any of its six games so far.

Jackson, a former head coach, is a little more hands-on in his approach than most team presidents around the NBA. And with a new head coach on the bench in New York, there will likely be some growing pains during the first few weeks of the season as Hornacek and Jackson look to find common ground on the best approach for the team going forward.

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8 thoughts on “Phil Jackson Unhappy With Knicks’ Offense

  1. Strauss

    He should look in the mirror to see where the problem is. He put this misfit group together.

  2. If Phil wants to run the triangle, he should become the coach. I’m tired of hearing of all this BS that Phil wants to run the triangle. Its simple, if you want to run the triangle, become the head coach. If you don’t plan on coaching, then don’t bother with trying to force the triangle. Hire a coach and let him coach what he is used to and let him play to the players’ strengths.

    • ChaplinBaseball

      I totally agree @JT19…. However the root-problem is James Dolan for not hiring a proven executive that could put all the pieces together needed to build a winning team..
      another frustrated Knicks fan.

  3. FormerlyZ

    How hard is it to understand you aren’t running a half court game anymore? This isn’t the late 90s-early 2000s. Teams score 100 easily. The pace is different. You have to be elite defensively to play a slow paced, half court game for the totality of a game. This knicks team was built to play more pick and roll, and space the floor a little. They even hired Jeff Hornacek. I was actually looking forward to seeing them, but these constant continued reports of the triangle offense being so imperative for Phil jackson….someone slap that dude across the face already! They signed Noah to a really risky deal, which was unnecessary. That being said, they have him in the roster, and I think he could be a lot more useful being used differently, while melo and porzingis need to he used properly…

    Lance Thomas should replace Noah in the starting lineup. That should help the space on the floor, and it should help the 2nd unit defensively, which desperately needs help in that regard. Noah and o’Quinn have been clogging the lane, and have been an impediment on offense, leading to flat possessions.

    • FormerlyZ

      Every team uses some semblance of principles from the triangle offense, but you just don’t hear so much about it b/c it’s not the end all be all, and those teams know it….there is no problem with running some sets in the half court out of the triangle in certain situations. There is no reason to think it should be done all game, when it’s more important right now to try and get easier baskets

    • Steve in Chicago

      Noah left Chicago in part because he wasnt starting. Probably better to use rotations to improve defense. Rose will always be a liability there. Hornacek is doing some interesting things, using Noah and Porzingis as low/high posts. Give him time, he is a smart coach.

  4. Dave4585

    Phil is a dinosaur that it stuck in the past.

  5. galihaaben

    If he wants to run the triangle, he has to become the coach. No way will Hornacek be inclined to listen to Jackson on the way he wants to run an offense. At this time, Carmelo has to talk to Jackson about coaching, or to shut up. If Carmelo does not want to run the triangle, what makes Jackson think anyone else is willing to do so. And of the past two games, the offense looks fine, but its actually the defense that is causing the losses. There is a lack of effort on defense, especially with the bench unit. Also, if Hornacek wants to keep an offensive flow going, he has to incorporate Porzingis or Melo with the second unit. And I believe that they should play Kuz more, and sign Randle to run the offense. Randle looked like he was a veteran out there during the preseason games, able to run an offense.

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