Phil Jackson Discusses Carmelo Anthony’s Fit in Triangle Offense


Phil Jackson recently sat down with the New York Post for a Q&A to discuss his thoughts on the upcoming season. Some interesting parts from the article have grabbed a lot of people’s attention, most notably when Jackson spoke of Carmelo Anthony‘s fit into the triangle. We all know Melo has a tendency to hold the ball when he gets it on offense, so everyone was all ears when Jackson addressed this issue.

"Q: How and why will the triangle offense make Carmelo a better player?A: It’ll give him opportunity to be a passer, a rebounder, and probably easier spots to score from than he’s had before. I think. I hope that’s true for a lot of the players.Q: Hawks GM Danny Ferry recently made comments about Carmelo in which he reportedly said: “He can shoot the [bleep] out of it, but he screws you up in other ways. So is he really worth $20 million? I would argue if he plays the right way, absolutely.”A: I think there’s probably 15 players in the NBA that are very similar position. I don’t know if all of ’em are paid $20 million, but the coaches and GMs are talking about it in those type of terms — how much does this guy hurt your team, or hurt the game flow because he’s trying to score. The attempt to score, the need to score, the pressure that he feels he has to score. … Does he take away from the team game? That’s what Danny’s talking about there. And that’s where Carmelo’s gonna move forward this year in that situation — the ball can’t stop. The ball has to continually move. It moves, or goes to the hoop on a shot or a drive or something like that. In our offense, that’s part of the process of getting players to play in that rhythm.Q: And Jordan had to make that adjustment too, right?A: Michael had to be able to share the ball, other people had to get shots, only so many shots available out there. And when someone’s taking 27 a game or something? 25 a game, that’s maybe a third of the shots. That can’t happen in basketball."

So Jackson had a lot to say on this topic it seems. Some key take aways from the excerpt: Carmelo Anthony is really good, the triangle offense needs ball movement to be successful, and Carmelo isn’t the only ball dominant player that shined in this offense.

People tend to forget that Michael Jordan liked to shoot a lot but he learned how to play within the system. Of course I am not comparing Melo to the greatest player of all time; I’m simply reiterating Jackson’s point. Carmelo Anthony also just so happens to like to shoot at an alarming rate. Jackson does believe that Melo’s game will change in the offense however. This is what should entice fans everywhere.

As far as “the ball can’t stop” comment, don’t read into it as if it were directed at Anthony. This goes for the entire team; constant ball movement creates open shots and mismatches. That is why the triangle plays well to players who have the versatility to play multiple positions. The comment just happened to arise during a question about Melo; Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith need to pay attention to that as well. I explained how the Knicks will use the triangle offense earlier this month and stressed how important ball movement is.

While most anti-Carmelo fans will read it as, “Phil Jackson is calling out Carmelo Anthony because he is a ball hog,” understand that this was simply an interview where Jackson stressed the intricacies of offense. Make sure to read the rest of the Q&A over at the New York Post.