With all eyes around the New York Knicks focused on the future, there are a couple of questions that Phil Jackson will have to answer in the offseason.
The first of which involves who Jackson will get to implement and teach the triangle offense. The second of which and probably even more important involves whether current Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony can have his typical success playing in the triangle?
With Anthony prepared to test free agency, which is a question that Jackson must have a correct answer to very quickly.
While the X’s and O’s of the triangle may be complicated to some, the basic principles are simple as it requires spacing and frequent player and ball movement. The latter isn’t exactly ‘Melo’s strength.
There has been plenty of speculation that Anthony won’t fit well in Jackson’s system, but I think that is a bit ridiculous.
Sure it is true that Anthony has never won anything at the NBA level and has some shortcomings in terms of his game and overall effort at both ends of the floor, but it is hard not to look at Anthony and think he would be just fine in the triangle.
Is Anthony’s style of play tailored to the triangle?
Not in a million years. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t thrive in it.
Anthony, while it doesn’t show all of the time, is capable of playing very good defense and if he is surrounded by a quality supporting cast for a change, he can be the solid all-around player that Jackson prefers.
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were both volume scorers in the triangle but they were also committed to excelling at both ends of the floor. That’s something that Jackson and a new coach must get out of Anthony. I only bring up Jordan and Bryant because in the triangle they were both volume scorers who needed the ball in their hands.
Granted they were both a little bit more unselfish payers as they made their teammates better, but they also had better supporting casts around them than ‘Melo has had for most of his career.
To think Anthony couldn’t excel in the triangle is a bit ludicrous.
We like to complain about Anthony’s continued reliance on the isolation game, but while it is certainly frustrating and worth complaining about, has he had any teammates he could trust while in New York?
While Anthony certainly has to change, so does the talent, or lack of talent, around him.
The bottom line is that at 29 years of age, Anthony is continuing to evolve as a player. He is having one of his best seasons as a pro and is averaging career highs in rebounds (8.3) and PER (24.9), while still dropping 28.1 points per game.
That’s nice and says something but eventually the wins have to come for Anthony as well.
At the end of the day though I can make plenty of cases of why the Knicks should move on from Anthony and let him walk, but the triangle offense isn’t one of them.
The Knicks have made plenty of foolish moves throughout the years, but you don’t allow one of the best scorers of this generation to leave because of a system.
If that is the case the Knicks will look foolish once again.