The New York Knicks are 2-4, and concerns about their offence are reportedly already emerging from team president Phil Jackson.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, Jackson is unhappy with the lack of triangle offence the Knicks have been running through their first six games. They are currently 13th in the NBA in offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions).
Jackson’s reported displeasure comes just six months after he hired Jeff Hornacek to be the team’s new head coach. Hornacek coached two and a half seasons with the Phoenix Suns and was known for running an uptempo, spread-pick-and-roll offence that many around the NBA emulate.
Hornacek’s hiring was supposed to represent Jackson loosening his philosophy and conceding that the triangle offence (which Jackson used on his championship-winning Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers teams) is not necessarily a fit in today’s NBA.
Hornacek was reportedly being given the freedom to install his own offence while incorporating “aspects” of the triangle in halfcourt settings. According to Begley, Hornacek said during training camp, “We talked a lot about it over the summer. Phil’s given us the ability to run it anyway we want, how we set it up. We talked what we feel is a good working way to run it with different options. We’ll get to all those as the year progresses, but it should be pretty easy.”
As Begley notes, players have already expressed their distaste for the offence — but in a different fashion. Derrick Rose, in particular, has been vocal about the triangle and his discomfort running the system, saying he prefers more pick-and-rolls. On Monday, Carmelo Anthony told reporters he was tired of talking about the triangle.
Last season, the Knicks fired Derek Fisher after less than two seasons. It was reported that his straying from the triangle was part of the reason.
More concerning to the Knicks should be their league-worst defence, which is surrendering 111 points per 100 possessions. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Knicks are putting assistant coach Kurt Rambis (who was the interim head coach after Fisher was fired last season and was under consideration for the full-time job before Hornacek) in charge of the defence.
The Knicks had a flashy (and expensive) summer, revamping their team to try to make the postseason for the first time in three years. While the season is still young, it’s not off to a good start if the team president is already unhappy with his new head coach’s offence six games in the season.
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