AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — It looks as if Phil Jackson will hold additional triangle tutorials as the season winds down.
So says Derrick Rose who was one of the Knicks guards asked via text to arrive at Thursday’s practice at 12:30 p.m., a half-hour earlier than the rest of the team, so they could go over some principals of the offense with the Knicks team president.
“I think it went well. Then again, when someone like Phil comes and talks to you and shows you things, you have to pay attention,” Rose said before Saturday’s game against the Pistons. “It’s always an honor when a person like that, a guy like that, gives you his time. I think it was helpful. But then again, it was only one day so. Hopefully he comes back the next couple of days or next week and shows us some more things.
“He said he would [come back] so right now we just have to wait and see whenever that is and go from there.”
Jackson won 11 titles running the triangle offense in Los Angeles and Chicago, and wants the Knicks to master the system. Apparently, in Thursday’s session he got so specific that he was even directing veteran guards on the proper way to pass the ball.
One of the things he told the guards was when they make a one handed pass, they need to start with two hands and then use one “to put a punch behind it” said Courtney Lee. The guards were also told that a properly passed ball should make a “ping” noise when they catch it.
Lee, unlike Rose, said he had not heard that Jackson plans to hold more triangle sessions down the stretch.
“I guess I’ll be prepared for it,” Lee said. “Going to class man.”
To some, it might seem a little odd for Jackson to be going over the offense with just 17 games in the season, especially since some of the players he is teaching it to might not even be here next year.
Since returning from the All-Star break, the Knicks have run the triangle more than they did earlier in the season. The perception is that Jackson is directing Hornacek to run the triangle, a system that Hornacek has never played in or coached before being hired last June.
Rose, who previously has aired his frustration about playing in the triangle, sounded a little more open to it on Saturday. He said there are some differences in the way Jackson taught it as compared to the coaching staff.
“He won championships with it so of course there’s a difference,” the point guard said. “He’s more detailed. He’s real specific about the way you enter a wall, the way that you cut, his terminology is different.”
Before the Pistons game, Hornacek downplayed Thursday’s session, saying that he wasn’t even sure if the Knicks would use what Jackson was teaching in games.
“I don’t know there’s a difference in the things they already knew,” Hornacek said. “They still do those things. But it’s good to see those couple other things he says, go ahead and do. Whether they try them in the games, we’ll find out. It gives them something else to think about.”