LAS VEGAS - Growing up in Los Angeles, Derrick Williams watched the Lakers under Phil Jackson and feels like he already knows the triangle offense.
That should come in handy for a team that needs offense and for a player trying to prove he can be a regular contributor after a mostly disappointing start to his career.
"I've seen it firsthand and Phil really wants me to get out there and he feels like I can be a big piece on this team and be able to do multiple things," Williams said Friday. "I know six, seven cuts already just from the memory of watching the form out there. I'm just a big studier of the game. It's not just about your body. It's also about the mental and being able to adapt.
"I really feel like with the Knicks, it will be great for all of our careers."
Williams, the No. 2 pick of the 2011 draft, has averaged 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22.4 minutes for the Timberwolves and Kings. The 6-8 forward said Jackson told him he wants him to be able to play all over the court in the triangle. The Knicks signed Williams to a two-year, $10-million deal.
"We're starting all over," Williams said. "We have coach [Derek] Fisher, Phil Jackson, he really wants to start this thing over and get back to the top and that's the best way, getting pieces around Carmelo [Anthony] and vibing off that and hitting them over the head.
"I really feel like we can make the playoffs. I'm not just saying that to be cliche but I really feel like we can if we stay healthy."