Knicks: Jerian Grant Feels Comfortable Running Triangle Offense


On New York KnicksMedia Day, rookie Jerian Grant said he feels “really comfortable” going into training camp.

"“Really comfortable, I think having coach Fisher in the Summer League with us was a big help.”“Having some of the other coaches there to help teach us the triangle offense really helped me.”"

Grant also already feels comfortable with the triangle offense after running it during Summer League. Grant played a total of 137 minutes in five games of Summer League. Grant averaged 11.8 points, 4.8 assist, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game in Summer League action.

"“Yea, I think I am a lot more comfortable than I was”“it’s a lot of movement, that’s really what it is” “at the end of the day, you are just playing basketball”“for me i was really able to pick it up pretty quickly and as a point guard you help teach it to other guys.”"

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Wow, teaching it to the other players already. It would seem Grant is a very quick learner, but let’s hope Grant truly grasp all of the nuances of the triangle offense before teaching it to others. As Phil Jackson explains in his book The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul, the triangle offense is extremely delicate.

"“If players drift too far from on another, or become bunched up too closely together, the offense will sputter. The triangle depends on effective dribble penetration, everyone moving in rhythm with a clearly designated purpose, like members of an orchestra.“"

Maybe Grant’s confidence in his ability to run the triangle offense is warranted though, having a leg up on everyone else, being able to speak to a man with a wealth of triangle offense knowledge. That man being his uncle Horace Grant, who has learned the triangle offense under coach Jackson.

"“I talked to him a little bit, obviously not too much. I try to get my own feel but to be able to talk to him a little bit, because my uncle played for him and things like that. I think it definitely helped me.”“I talk to him a lot, I talk to him almost everyday. He tells to me the struggle as a rookie and things to look forward and just how to be successful“"

Horace Grant entered the league as a rookie with the Chicago Bulls, just as Jackson came back into the NBA from coaching overseas in 1994. After a couple of years Jackson would be promoted to head coach status and implement his triangle offense, leading to the first Bulls’ three-peat before Michael Jordan‘s first retirement.

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Grant would win one more NBA Championship with Jackson, reuniting in 2000-2001 with the Los Angeles Lakers. After playing a crucial reserve role for the Championship, Grant left for the Orlando Magic via free agency. After a couple of seasons, Grant would again reunite with Jackson in 2003-2004, in hopes of helping Jackson accomplish a four-peat. Unfortunately Grant tore his hip just in the homestretch towards the Playoffs. The Lakers failed to capture a fourth consecutive NBA Championship, losing to the Detroit Pistons in five games.

During Media Day, Jerian Grant seemed unsure of what his role will be with the Knicks.

"“Watching the triangle you could definitely see that both guard positions can be interchangeable.”“I think once we go through training camp and we do things like that, I will see what my role is on this team”"

Fisher believes that Grant can play both guard positions, as per Ian Begley of ESPN.

"“I think he can put the basketball in hole like guys who played [shooting guard]. But he’s also a good ball handler and decision-maker in terms of being able to kind of lead an offense as a guard,”“We don’t necessarily describe guys as ‘1’ and ‘2’. We kind of just like guards. And he fits that mold really well.”“Defensively I think the same way. I think he’s a guy that can cover both positions. That’s why we jumped at the opportunity when we had it.”"

This will be something to look for as preseason approaches, seeing how Fisher utilizes Grant in the rotation and what position he will take up in the rotation.

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