The talk of the town since Phil Jackson took over the New York Knicks is the legendary triangle offense. Everyone is talking about it, but not everyone completely understands it. It’s great to see articles explaining how certain players fit into the triangle, but if you don’t understand how the triangle offense works, it isn’t the most captivating article to read.
Here is a video on how the Knicks used the triangle offense under new coach Derek Fisher this summer in Las Vegas.The video explains the basic set ups and nuances of the offense.
From the 2:00-2:50 section, there is a great overview of how important a low post presence is. Of course this is a video from the Knicks summer league team, so replace Jeremy Tyler with Amar’e Stoudemire, Jason Smith, or Andrea Bargnani. Now it is easy to see how important it is for that center position to be able to see the floor and hit the open jump shot.
From 3:00-5:00 minutes, the second option, or the perimeter scoring option is explained. This is where you will see Carmelo Anthony, Tim Hardaway Jr., J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, or even Jose Calderon slot into the offense. As you may notice, it is important to make quick, hard cuts off the screen from the big man, which is why Anthony has shed some pounds this summer to be quicker and more athletic.
The pick and pop option is there on the ball reversal, and this is where you will want a guy who can catch and shoot (Melo, Smith, Hardaway Jr.) and a big man who can read the defense and hit the shot (STAT, Bargs, Ja. Smith).
From 7:20-8:30, the third option is discussed. Again, the weak side forward flashes and either hits the perimeter player back door or the strong side guard coming off a down screen for an open shot.
As you can see, the offense will require a lot of ball movement and screening. If the Knicks don’t hold the ball, they have a chance to have a very dynamic offense with the amount of flexibility they have at each position. It is also important to stress how critical it is to have players that can stretch the floor to keep the defense honest.