Jeff Hornacek says triangle offense could lure free agents

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek believes the team's triangle offense can be a potential draw for free agents this summer.

"There might be players that think [the triangle offense is a deterrent], but there are also probably players out there that say 'Oh man, I'd like to run something like that,'" Hornacek said Wednesday. "There are guys that may not necessarily like to run around and in [screen] staggers and all that stuff. It's still an offense where guys, if they're knowledgeable about the game, should like."

After de-emphasizing the triangle earlier in the season, Hornacek and the Knicks have run it more often since the All-Star break. It hasn't translated to on-court success. The Knicks are 4-7 since the All-Star break, and Hornacek has conceded that the Knicks are likely to finish out of the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

New York (27-41) has struggled on defense for much of the season, but some players have also privately pointed to the difficulty of learning the triangle offense as a factor in their disappointing season.

The Knicks will continue to emphasize the triangle for the remainder of the year and, most likely, for as long as Phil Jackson is team president. Last week, Jackson conducted an on-court tutorial to go through different triangle positioning and options with the team's guards.

Some perceived that workout as Jackson intruding on Hornacek's duties as coach, but Hornacek doesn't see it that way.

"No. We talk about stuff all the time," Hornacek said of Jackson. "So when he comes out and demonstrates for the guys, he's so used to being out on the court it's probably fun for him to do. And the guys get another look at it from a guy who has run it for years and years, so it's good."

Jackson and the Knicks' front office could have nearly $25 million to spend in free agency this summer, depending on how the club decides to proceed with pending free agent Derrick Rose. The triangle offense will certainly be a topic of conversation during any negotiation between the Knicks and free agents this offseason.

Despite some of the negative stigma surrounding the offense, Hornacek made it clear Wednesday that he thinks it can be a good selling point for free agents.

"It's a strategy that, almost every time down the court if you're a player, you're watching things develop. When you look at it that way, it's actually fun to run," he said.
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