A lot of energy is expended discussing pre-draft workouts — this year’s headlines were Lonzo Ball not working out for the Celtics, then not blowing away the Lakers in his first workout — but the reality is these workouts are one piece in a much larger puzzle. For the guys in the lottery, the workouts may not move the needle that much, but the further down the draft you go the more they matter. What teams want to see in these workouts, besides getting an up-close look at things like shooting form, is how the player takes to coaching, or how he responds when physically tired (does he push through or wilt).
This year’s Knicks workouts are a little different — they’re trying to see how guys grasp the triangle, so they’re teaching it, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.
“It was more teaching than all the other ones,’’ (North Carolina forward Justin) Jackson told The Post in a phone interview. “With the triangle and the other types of offenses they run, I would say it was a little more mental than physical…
“I picked it up pretty easily — everyone picked it up as time went on,’’ he said. “That helped a lot as far the workout, going into different actions. For me it was just basketball, making plays and reads.
“Phil [Jackson] stepped in a few times to say what he wanted to see, but it was mostly coach [Jeff] Hornacek running the workout.”
Since the Knicks are committed to running the triangle next season (whether they should is an entirely different discussion), what they’re doing makes sense. They should see how a player picks up the concepts, and how he interacts with the coach.
In our latest PBT mock draft — it and a podcast on it should be out in the next 24 hours — we have the Knicks taking Malik Monk of Kentucky with the No. 8 pick. How he picks up the triangle matters less than the fact Monk can flat out shoot the rock, and the Knicks need that no matter what offense they run.