ORLANDO, Fla. — Phil Jackson isn’t the only person who likes that the Knicks are playing more triangle. Kristaps Porzingis is a fan of the often-criticized offense and believes the Knicks should have been emphasizing it from the start of the season.
“We’re starting to learn it now the way we should [and] we should have been playing from the beginning of the season,” Porzingis said “So we’re a little behind. But every game we’re getting a little better. Hopefully, I don’t know when, we can start using it properly and making some impact playing it.”
Porzingis, who returned Wednesday night after missing the past two games with a sprained right ankle, is happy the Knicks have gone back to utilizing more triangle since returning from the All-Star break last week. His opinion matters since the Knicks will be building around Porzingis.
Coach Jeff Hornacek said a goal for the rest of this season is to “continue to grow the offense,” and that the Knicks would evaluate players on whether they can play in it.
“I like the triangle,” Porzingis said. “My first season, the whole first season we played nothing but the triangle so I know it pretty well. I like the offense. It can only work if everybody believes in it and everybody executes it the right way.”
During training camp, Hornacek said the players don’t like running the triangle. He ran what he called “triangle aspects” early in the season, but then the Knicks went away from it after a team meeting where the players voiced some concerns to Jackson and Hornacek.
Hornacek estimated that they’re running it less than 50 percent of the game now. But one reason Hornacek said it’s been re-emphasized is it helps balance their defense. He said Jackson mentioned that to him.
“We talk about it a lot,” Hornacek said. “Different things in the triangle you can do. Sometimes you call them out of timeout plays. That’s some of the things Phil has said; some plays that maybe he used. We’re talking all the time. That came up in one of the discussions, that it does give you better balance. We had guys that were getting stuck in the corner. That was part of it.”
Last week, Derrick Rose, who excels in pick-and-rolls, referred to the system as “random basketball” and lamented that he’s usually standing in the corner. But he said he has to accept playing the triangle.
“I just have to do whatever the coach tells me to do,” Rose said. “I’m not fighting with no one. I don’t dislike anyone on the team, not even with the coaching staff. I’m just doing my job.”
Jennings signed by Wizards
Brandon Jennings, whom the Knicks cut Monday, was signed by the Wizards. Washington visits the Garden April 6.
Rose feels for Noah
Rose hasn’t yet spoken to or texted Joakim Noah since he underwent knee surgery Monday that could end his season. But he believes his longtime teammate will come back strong.
“I’m kind of giving him some days to get everything together,” Rose said. “I wanted to text him, but he’s got people in town and you just need time to yourself. I’ll probably give him a couple more days and then text him or call him and see if he’s doing all right.
“He’s like my brother. Surgery is a big deal, no matter what area of your body you’re getting it on. The rehab part [stinks]. He’s strong enough that he’ll be able to get through.”
Willy Hernangomez (sprained left ankle) didn’t play. Hornacek said Hernangomez didn’t require X-rays, and that he might return Friday at Philadelphia . . . Rookie Maurice Ndour suffered a sprained right ankle at shootaround and was unavailable Wednesday night.