TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The Triangle Offense left New York in June when Phil Jackson was fired, but the Knicks made it official as training camp is about to begin.
Asked if the triangle was dead, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said Friday: "The style that guys are liking to play is a little bit different. We're going to open it up and get some different things out there. The biggest thing for us is to try to put our guys in the best position. Whether it's post-ups, if it's outside shooting 3-pointers, you look at the roster, you look at the player's strengths and you try to build from there."
OK, so Hornacek never used the word "triangle," but it's clear he will return to the high-tempo attack he used in Phoenix.
"So far it's a lot of much more fast-paced offense, moving cutting, more ball movement," point guard Jarrett Jack said this week, adding that Hornacek hasn't discussed any triangle principles yet. "From what I understand, that's the crux of it for now."
During Jackson's dismal three years as President of the Knicks, the team compiled an 80-166 record. They haven't been to the playoffs in four seasons.
Since the Knicks reached the 1994 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets, the team has utilized more than 40 point guards. Last season, Derrick Rose complained that the triangle just involved him running to the corner and waiting for the ball to come to him, as opposed to the pick-and-roll offense he preferred.
This year will bring a whole new wave of floor generals, but will also likely involve a return to a more up-tempo attack. Jack and Ramon Sessions were veterans brought in to mentor rookie Frank Ntilikina, while Ron Baker is in his second year and makes more money than Sessions or Jack.
"I think the point guard position with Ramon Sessions and Jarrett Jack, those guys have been pros," GM Scott Perry said. "You're going to hear me say that term a lot. We're looking for guys who hare going good professionals and I think those guys are not only going to be good competition, but good mentors. They'll be able to share their experience and stories with guys like Frank, which I think will be invaluable to his growth and development as a player."
Ntilikina, the No. 8 pick in the Draft from France, has impressed so far in pickup games but doesn't appear ready to start yet.
"With Frank we really like what we're seeing in these pickup games," Hornacek said. "He's getting better and better every day. He's never had any strength training, he's just basically been playing. He's a young kid, 19 years old. He's got long arms. He's doing some great things and he can compete. We'll just have to see going through training camp and preseason how it all shakes out."
Hornacek also stressed the team's defensive identity -- which has been lacking in recent years -- and said he's ready to move on from the Phil Jackson Era.
"The big thing is defensive identity," he said. "We want to get these guys to get in the open court a little bit more, spread the floor a little bit more. We've got some great shooters on our team so we feel that's the way we're moving. every year you hit, you can forget about last year. Whatever happened you're always moving forward."