Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said the triangle offense could attract free agents.
But Phil Jackson’s infamous scheme apparently isn’t appealing to current Knicks.
Ian Begley of ESPN:
Jackson may eventually be able to find players who excel in — and appreciate — the triangle. But the majority of current Knicks aren’t comfortable in — and don’t care for — the offense, according to sources.
The return to the triangle is one reason why several veterans have started to lose faith in Hornacek recently, sources say.
Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose have chafed at the triangle, but they – like many Knicks veterans – might not be long for New York. So, their dismay means only so much.
On the other hand, Anthony is the only player left from the team Jackson inherited, and Jackson signed Anthony to a new contract. If Jackson’s hand-chosen players are rejecting the triangle, who will embrace it? Good luck finding those free agents.
Hornacek is in a tough spot, caught between established veterans unhappy with losing and a boss forcing an unfamiliar scheme. It’s not going well, and time is not the solution here. The triangle slows the pace and leads to too many inefficient shots, and it would take an expert in the scheme and a better roster to succeed with it. That won’t be Hornacek any time soon, and hoping he can suddenly win under these conditions is just wasting time.
If Jackson insists upon the triangle, Hornacek is the wrong coach. But a far better solution than firing Hornacek in favor a better triangle coach would be just dumping the scheme and allowing Hornacek to coach how he deems best.
And building a better roster. That should be Jackson’s top priority, which can be far more easily accomplished if picking from the widest pool of players, not just those who appear to fit the triangle.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)
The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.
While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”
Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”
We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.
Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.
Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.
His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.
Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.