There's a whole lot of triangle offense going around.
For as often as some of the more pressing critics may attempt to knock Phil Jackson's offensive philosophies as old fashioned and/or complicated, it's worth noting that teams across the league incorporate elements of the triangle into their version of success.
As BBALLBREAKDOWN goes on to point out in their latest video, Jeff Hornacek's fast-paced offense with the Phoenix Suns featured many pinch-post plays and pass handoffs that resembled the triangle. Much like the Knicks' offense, the key to Hornacek's offense was constant flow. The ball (much like the players on the court) was constantly moving. There was rhythm,. While New York has struggled to execute certain things effectively over the last two seasons, perhaps they can take solace in knowing Hornacek and the Suns had a bit more success carrying out some very similar elements of their desired offense.
Of course, much has been made about the fact that Jackson doesn't appear as hell bent as in past seasons to centering things around the triangle. That's likely because, however, Hornacek's principles aren't so different after all.
It certainly helped that prior to last season, the Suns were led by Goran Dragic. Someone who can excellently get through the lane, Dragic penetrates well and usually has an even better read on opposing defenses. Utilizing Rose in a similar way, with plenty of pick and roll action, mini-weaves, and blind-pig plays should open up higher percentage opportunities for the Knicks. Finding success here comes down to putting the team's best players in optimal positions to show off their talents in convenient ways. With an offensively versatile squad, such high-percentage looks could end up serving as layups through the lane, high-post jumpers, etc. The possibilities are endless if the flow never stops.
Luckily for Rose, BBALLBREAKDOWN also asserts that former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau too ran plenty of elements of the triangle in his offense. Much of what the Knicks will likely try and incorporate into their offense this coming season should come rather naturally to the 2011 NBA MVP.
Still, that same extra pep in his step and respective explosiveness in his game hasn't returned just yet for Rose as he fights his way back from injury after injury This has ultimately derailed his desire to continue playing at a high level. Having said that, the spacing in the Knicks' offense should give him a little bit of room to do as he pleases and cash in on better scoring opportunities for himself.
When running the break and/or attempting to slice the lane, Rose, interestingly enough, has a tendency to leave his feet when looking for the open man. Attacking the basket is one thing, but such penetration is only effective when the floor general knows how and where to get his teammates involved. Leaving one's feet can often lead to off balance and/or erratic passes. Anyone who listens to MSG Network's Knickerbocker broadcasts knows leaving your feet mid-pass is one of Walt "Clyde" Frazier's cardinal rules. Don't do it.
Taking all of this into consideration, one thing is clear. Whether it's Phil Jackson, Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Hornacek, or nearly any other coach in the NBA, elements of the triangle remain. There's real potential for Rose and the Knicks. He's a big upgrade at the point guard position, and could end up serving as the previously missing link for the Knicks to find success the way they want to.