Phil Jackson brings back triangle offense, and that's more bad news for Knicks

The New York Knicks are 25th in defensive efficiency in the NBA

The Knicks are 25th in defense in the NBA. 

The Knicks are 25th in defense in the NBA. 

Why am I repeating this? Because for some reason, Phil Jackson continues to fail to understand why it is that the team he put together sits at 24-36, 12 games under .500 and 4.5 games back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Jackson continues to believe that the real answer which will solve all of the Knicks’ problems is their offense, and, particularly, the absence of the triangle offense in their systems. 

So many, many things here:

  • First, off, that’s Kurt Rambis, who Jackson put in charge of ... the defense! That’s right, the same defense that’s 25th and gave up this disastrous sequence on Monday night. Of note, Rambis has never been in charge of a top-10 defense. 
  • The offense has been fine. It’s ranked 16th, and that’s with a terrible bench. Jeff Hornacek has lifted up Derrick Rose’s career to a certain degree and gotten contributions from multiple players. The offense hasn’t been an issue. So why on earth is that the focus, when, again, the defense is 25th? 
  • The triangle offense has been blasted by every player who has been in it outside of Chicago and L.A., and those two teams won titles behind Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Even if you want to say it used to be an effective, brilliant system, the game has fundamentally shifted, as have players’ attitudes. No one buys into the triangle anymore. Even if they’re wrong to do so, what does it matter? Deal with the reality, which is that the triangle has not been successful in today’s NBA. 
  • Why is Jackson interfering at this point? Let the season play out, evaluate the players based on their play, evaluate the coach based on his coaching, and make your decisions in the offseason, when you may have to justify shelling out a huge new deal for Derrick Rose after giving Joakim Noah $70 million and being unable to convince Carmelo Anthony to let you trade him. 
  • Jackson has done this throughout his career. It’s always someone else’s fault. Offense failing? Players don’t buy into the triangle. Roster doesn’t work? Coaches not getting through. Jackson built this roster and he should be on the bill for it. 
  • What does Anthony think of all this? He’s watching Jackson once again involve himself without coming downstairs to coach, all the while Anthony is about to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season. At what point does Melo decide he no longer wants to be party to the never-ending trainwreck that is the Knicks?
CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories