Knicks' Hornacek: Jackson 'not trying to take over'
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson has appeared flexible so far with Jeff Hornacek's tweaking of the triangle offense, and on Sunday the new head coach reaffirmed that, although he sounded a little surprised.
"Phil's been great. He's not trying to take over and make us do anything. He's given us the leeway," Hornacek said, according to ESPN's Ian Begley. "There are some things that we do that aren't the triangle stuff - our early (offense). Quite honestly, we thought he would say, 'Let's not do that.' Or, 'Let's not do that option.' But he hasn't said that at all."
Jackson conceded after hiring Hornacek that the triple post offense - refined by his former assistant coach Tex Winter in the 1950s - must adapt in the era of pace-and-space. Hornacek's Phoenix Suns squads ranked in the league's top eight in pace in each of his three seasons as coach.
Many - including Knicks players - have criticized the triangle in recent years, inferring that its slower pace and predictable half-court sets are outdated. Hornacek admitted that most of the questions come regarding the slower pace.
"If it slows you down, I think that's where most guys (criticizing the system) are probably coming from," Hornacek said. "You end up being a slow-down team and never get easy buckets. First of all, guys don't like to run it. Secondly, it makes it very difficult to get easy buckets early in the offense. And I think in today's game, those early buckets are nice to get."
Jackson, who employed the triangle to great success as coach of 11 NBA champions with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, has been a fairly stubborn defender of the system, which functions exclusively in the half-court. After Hornacek's arrival, Knicks star Carmelo Anthony appeared thrilled that the hire would result in a more up-tempo style.
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