You can expect some triangle — or, more accurately, a hybrid triangle offense — in Madison Square Garden this coming season.
At his press introductory press conference Friday, new Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said there will be triangle principles as part of his offense. You hear it in his own words above, here is a longer quote describing what he is thinking.
“There must be something about the word triangle. Maybe we’ll call it the circle offense. To me, it’s just a way to space the floor. When I was talking with Coach in L.A. and started looking at things that I would like to do out of the triangle offense, he goes, ‘Yeah, you can run whatever play you want out of the triangle offense.’
“In Utah when I played, we had the 1-4 set. It was just a way to space the floor. It’s the same reads, a lot of the same reads that we did then. In today’s game, with a lot of the pick-and-rolls, it’s just reading basketball. And so again, when I look at it, if you take the normal set-up of the team, most of the teams, you can watch Golden State, almost any team that runs pick-and-rolls, the spacing — if you just put, move one guy six feet to the side and one guy six feet down, you’re in the same exact alignment. It’s something that we can run a lot of plays out of. It’ll be a part of our offense. It’s something that has worked, it’s won championships.”
Hornacek is a good coach, one who deserves the chance to coach his way.
In Phoenix, with quality point guards at his disposal, Hornacek wanted to play fast. They were not “seven seconds or less” but they were not far off it. They were far off Phil Jackson’s triangle, at least as he ran it. The offensive system Tex Winter devised wanted teams to push the pace and had a lot of variety, Jackson’s teams didn’t explore all of that (nor did they need to in order to win).
Maybe Hornacek can spin what he installs as the triangle.
But the worst thing for the Knicks to do is start running some triangle hybrid.