JM: So, is it safe to say the Knicks will not be a “space and pace” team any time soon? PJ: It’s my feeling when everybody does the same damn thing it becomes, ‘Who has the best Rolls Royce? Who has the best, fastest stock car in this race we are running?’ So if you have LeBron, wow, we’re going to do the same thing even though we don’t have the Rolls Royce? You have to be unique. You have to have something no one else is doing to have genius in this game. It becomes an ownership. I don’t care about the triangle. I care about systematically playing basketball. If the spacing isn’t right, if guys are standing on top of each other, if there aren’t lanes to be provided, or rebounders available to offensively rebound the ball, or we don’t have defensive balance when a shot goes up, all of these things are fundamental basketball. I follow it. I’m not railing, ‘This is inadequate’ or ‘This isn’t right.’ Just show me what will work. Are we running around for no reason? Can we hit the first cutter? Do we have the ability to hit the second option or are we just bypassing plays so someone can hit a 3-point shot? It doesn’t make sense to me.
Jackie MacMullan: There have been reports you are frustrated that (Knicks coach) Jeff Hornacek isn't employing the triangle offense enough. Is that the case? Phil Jackson: No. But when they run it I want them to run it the right way. If you are going to do it, use your skills and run it the right way. I'm not frustrated at all. Derrick Rose missed three weeks of training camp (because of a civil trial). It's totally understandable where we are as a ballclub. We have guards that do a lot of stuff off the dribble. I want them to understand they can do things off the pass. It has to be a combination.
Barbara Barker: "Kurt was more vocal today in practice," says Joakim Noah on Kurt Rambis taking over #Knicks defense. pic.twitter.com/omQHBegaxW
Barbara Barker: Derrick Rose says that putting Rambis in charge of defense is a bigger deal for coaches than players. #Knicks pic.twitter.com/YEmTWWh0h7
Ian Begley: Carmelo Anthony: "We're making adjustments offensively regardless of what we're running. At this point I'm getting tired of hearing about the triangle" Carmelo saying he's tired of hearing/talking about the triangle is something he's said before. FWIW: NYK hasn't run much of it this year.
Frank Isola: Prior to Saturday's home opener, Knicks had scored at least 111 points in a regulation victory 10 times over the previous two seasons. FYI: The Knicks barely ran the triangle vs. Memphis, won & scored 111 points. Two days later, Phil showed up at practice to talk triangle. Two scouts who watched a replay of Saturday's Knicks win said that Jeff Hornacek played to the team's strength and ran pick & rolls. Or as Hornacek, who is well aware of how sensitive everyone is about the offense, now refers to pick and rolls as "aspects of the triangle." Derek Fisher must be sitting at home thinking "aspects of the triangle... Damn, I should have thought of calling it that." And if the Knicks need a tutorial in anything it's defense, not offense.
It seems like Phil Jackson is playing an active role in helping the new Knicks learn the nuances of the triangle offense. He spent several minutes with Courtney Lee after practice Monday, diagramming different aspects of the triangle offense on a whiteboard. “It’s dope,” Lee said, calling Jackson the “Godfather of the Triangle.” “The man's got multiple rings and that’s what we’re trying to chase. He’s got a lot of knowledge and information, so it’s always good to pick his brain because you don’t know all the answers. There’s always somebody out there who knows more than you. And he’s one of those guys.”
Jeff Hornacek said Jackson has discussed the offense with a few players this season -- Jackson approached Lee for the tutorial on Monday. He's also occasionally attended coaches’ meetings to share some insight. “That’s good,” Hornacek said. “The more knowledge out there the better.”
The new Knicks coach wouldn’t have been surprised if Phil Jackson wanted to see more of the system he utilized during 11 title runs, but Hornacek has been pleasantly surprised by the team president’s “hands-off” approach with the team. “Phil’s been great. He’s not trying to take over and make us do anything,” Hornacek said following Sunday’s practice. “He’s given us the leeway. There’s some things that we do that aren’t the triangle stuff. Our early stuff, we quite honestly probably thought he’d say, ‘Let’s not do that or let’s not do this option,’ but he hasn’t said that at all. We talk quite a bit, but he’s kind of been hands-off.”
“He’s just trying to give us hints on when we do get in the halfcourt set and the triangle stuff, that the triangle aspects that we run, just how to really execute it and show the different options if we haven’t said them to the guys. It’s great help,” Hornacek said. “It’s another coach out there. He’s run it for years and years, so when he sees something … really, he’s not coming in here, saying, ‘Change it to this’ or ‘Change it to that.’ It’s good additional information.”
Frank Isola: Jeff Hornacek admitted the Knicks can't run the triangle all the time and slow the pace because "guys don't like to run it." Ya don't say... Derek Fisher also knew the players didn't want to run the triangle. When Fisher altered it, Phil canned him.
Ian Begley: Jeff Hornacek wants the Knicks to look for opportunities to score early in the shot clock. "Obviously, we're going to run aspects of the triangle.... It's a good weapon to have the way you space the floor, that can lead to a lot of reads. That's what makes it difficult. It takes a while for guys to really learn it. But with that being said, I like to get the ball up and down the court, have more opportunities, pick up the pace so there will be a lot of early offense and then you can always get to the aspects of the triangle," Hornacek said in an interview with "The Hahn & Humpty Show" on ESPN 98.7 FM.
Of course, if Hornacek gets leeway to change the offense, he'll be given a liberty that wasn't afforded to ex-Knicks coach Derek Fisher. Fisher tried to push the pace last season and implement more drag screens and high ball screens but was met with resistance from Jackson, sources say. It was one of several sources of discord between Fisher and Jackson, according to people familiar with the dynamic. Fisher and Jackson also didn't have the type of "simpatico" relationship that Jackson said he was looking for in his next head coaching hire.
June 22, 2021 | 3:29 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday has committed to play for Team USA in the Summer Olympics, source tells ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: USA Basketball has known that Paul was trending toward this decision for several days, per sources. If Suns reach NBA Finals, there would be virtually no break before end of his NBA season and start of July Olympics in Tokyo.
Eric Nehm: Brook Lopez tells reporters the Bucks took a couple days off before this series to make sure they could once again “fill up their cup” (Bud’s term) before the Hawks series. They still got film work in, but sounds like they gave themselves a solid rest after their Nets series.
I spoke to Aaron Wiggins’ agent, Austin Walton, earlier this morning, and he mentioned that interest from NBA teams had increased significantly in recent days. He continued to explain to me that Wiggins and his family have decided to preserve his college eligibility in order to keep the door open for a return back to Maryland next season. However, if things keep trending up, and he is provided a certain level of assurance, it is certainly possible that Wiggins stays in the 2021 NBA Draft.
The Grand Rapids Drive announced today the first set of priority home games for the 2021-22 season. This will be the organization’s seventh season in Grand Rapids and first as the NBA G League affiliate of the Denver Nuggets. A new team name and logo are scheduled to be revealed next month.
June 22, 2021 | 1:51 pm EDT Update
Chris Fedor: I’m hearing #Cavs center and restricted free agent Jarrett Allen, who was added as a finalist in March, is not going to play for Team USA at the Olympics. USAB wants him to be part of the Select Team, which is something he could still do.