When in Atlanta, coach Mike Woodson was rightly criticized for just running too much “iso Joe” offense for Joe Johnson. In New York it was better, if only because injuries forced him to put Carmelo Anthony at the four (which worked better) but one would not use the word “unpredictable” when describing the Knicks offense.
Now Derek Fisher (as the disciple of Phil Jackson) is bringing the triangle offense to New York. Anthony can fit well in that offense if he moves the ball.
Iman Shumpert is pumped the offense is coming to New York because it will give him something to do, he told ESPNNewYork.com.
“The way it’s set up, you can start three guards, it really doesn’t matter. Everybody’s going to get touches, everybody gets opportunities to cut,” Shumpert said of the triangle offense. “It’s constant action going on. So I think that I’ll be able to capitalize on that and I’ll be able to use my athleticism a lot more than standing in the corner.
“I know this year in the offense I will have a lot more opportunities to cut and get to the basket,” he added. “I just want to work on the strength of my leg. Been working on that and being able to pull up off one or two dribbles [and working] on corner [3-pointers] and open 3s.”
Shumpert has spent this off-season working hard to recovering from surgery on his left knee. He should be good to go full speed when the season starts.
The triangle offense is all about spacing and motion — If being run properly (as Tex Winter envisioned) it has constant ball movement and guys cutting and moving off the ball. In the offense you can lob into the post (think Shaq with the Lakers) or run pick-and-rolls — and you should run in transition — but when those actions happen other actions keep spacing on the floor.
Knicks fans will start to see the offense evolve over the course of the season — your actions in the offense is predicated on how the defense responds to an action, it takes time for all the players to get on the same page, making the same reads. There will be rough patches.
But it’s going to be better for the Knicks long term. We know it can work. It just needs total buy in.
Sounds like Shumpert is in.
The triangle offense is coming to New York and we should make one thing clear to Knicks fans — it takes at least a season for players to really learn the system, to learn the proper reads and reactions, to see the benefits of the offense. For example, when Phil Jackson first took over the Shaq/Kobe Lakers the offense actually had the exact same points per possessions as the season before (they won the title because the defense improved to league’s best). It’s going to take time.
The question is does Carmelo Anthony fit in the triangle?
ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley asked a long-time Atlantic Division scout about that and he said ‘Melo should be a good fit — with some caveats.
“I think he’s skilled enough and I think he’s smart enough. I think he’ll fit very well….
“He’s got to bring the whole package [to make the triangle work]. He’s gotta be a team player, he’s got to cut harder and he’s got to move the ball. He’s going to have to do a lot of things that he isn’t known for doing…
“For them to have success, he’s going to have to be a willing passer. That offense is predicated on spacing and ball movement and he can’t hold the ball like he has on previous occasions. So he’s got to pass the ball.”
Bottom line, you have to move the ball and move off the ball. Anthony has shown flashes of this kind of play when with Team USA in the past, surrounded by the world’s best players. Guys he trusted. This is different — he has to lift the rest of the guys up. He has to set the example, play the system the right way and be vocal when needed. Then just shake his head at J.R. Smith sometimes.
Anthony’s post skills should fit well in the triangle. His ability to space the floor with shooting will be a great fit. It doesn’t hurt he can take guys off the dribble now and again. He has the skills.
The question with Anthony will be mental.
And it’s going to take time.
Rajon Rondo has been mentioned in trade rumors in varying degrees over the past couple of seasons, but there may never be more security in him remaining in Boston as there is right now.
Not only is Rondo’s value at an all-time low after he played just 30 games last season as he made his way back from a knee injury, but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer, which means there’s little incentive to give up anything of value when he can simply be signed outright at the conclusion of the upcoming season.
The Celtics are aware of this, of course, so even though the team is in a rebuilding situation, it appears ready to ride out at least the first half of the year with its four-time All-Star in place on the roster.
From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:
While the Celtics are trying to figure out ways to clear roster space before training camp, moving Rondo is not a high priority. First off, Rondo will be a free agent next summer and fully intends on taking the LeBron James-Carmelo Anthony tour of teams and extending the negotiation process deep into next summer. It is highly unlikely Rondo would sign an extension this season with an interested team, especially the Sacramento Kings. Second, the Celtics don’t feel pressed to deal Rondo because they are still trying to determine if he’s part of the future and they are intrigued to see him in action a full 18 months following ACL surgery.
Every rebuilding team needs to add star power at some point, and the Celtics already know what they have in Rondo — a capable (if at times moody) floor general who has previous championship experience with the franchise.
Boston will wait to see if Rondo can return to his former stellar level of play before making any decisions, and will undoubtedly feel out the situation to see if he might be amenable to re-signing once the season is finished. Depending on the outcome of those evaluations, the possibility of trading Rondo before February’s midseason deadline can always be revisited.
The Heat took a chance on Michael Beasley as a reclamation project last season, but he was unable to help the team on the court in anything resembling a meaningful way.
Beasley reportedly was on his best behavior in Miami, after a series of issues in Phoenix caused the Suns to decide on a parting of ways.
But a lack of production led to the team to look for assistance elsewhere, and while it isn’t yet 100 percent certain that Beasley won’t be back, the team didn’t hesitate in handing out his jersey number to one of its newly-acquired free agent signings.
From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
The last time the Miami Heat gave away Michael Beasley’s number they at least waited a year before issuing No. 30 to Norris Cole.
This time, the transaction took place within a matter of weeks, with Beasley’s No. 8 already assigned to newcomer Shawne Williams for the coming season, even with Beasley still in limbo, as an unsigned free agent.
While the Heat still are eligible to retain Beasley, the numerology speaks otherwise.
This isn’t as bad as Houston prematurely giving away Jeremy Lin’s number to Carmelo Anthony this summer in a free agent pitch, because Lin was still a member of the Rockets at the time.
But if Beasley was still holding out hope that the Heat may be interested in having him back — something that Pat Riley said “was still a consideration” a few weeks ago — he might want to use this somewhat insensitive move by the franchise as a cue to begin to seek out employment options somewhere else.
Kobe Bryant is right.
But it’s also an argument that’s hard to win.
I’ve heard estimates from people around the Lakers that Kobe likely generates $70 million for the team when you consider the seats and suites he fills, with the sponsors that come to the Lakers because they want to be associated with him and the team he plays for. Yet he takes a lot of grief for the two-year $48.5 million contract extension he signed.
Kobe doesn’t think that salary cap system limiting max contracts is fair. He told that to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard (who did the big cover story profile of Kobe for SI).
He also doesn’t think it’s fair players are pressured to take less so the team can win.
• Kobe’s right, but you can’t win the argument, at least not with most fans. The problem is we can’t relate to the money involved — Kobe has made nearly $280 million over his career in salary alone, and that’s before this deal (and not counting endorsements, shoe deals, etc). You can be intellectually right that he doesn’t make even half of what he brings in to the organization, but you run into the “how much does a policeman make?” argument. Kobe plays a game — very well over his career, but it’s a game. Entertainers are overpaid in general in our society, maybe not in comparison to what they bring in, but it’s hard to feel sympathy for NBA players complaining about the size of their paychecks.
• Kobe’s contract still hamstrings the Lakers the next couple years. Lakers defenders don’t want to admit it, but it does. The Lakers struggle to attract top free agents like Carmelo Anthony because even if they sign him to a max deal they would have little other ability to upgrade the roster. Is it fair to Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan they had to take late career paycuts to help their team attract talent? No. But they did and those teams are much the better for it.