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The Triangle won't work until the Knicks start hitting their damn shots

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it, Phil Jackson confidant Charley Rosen came out Tuesday morning and the Knicks on their weak-ass Triangle. For the sake of analogy, let's say that the Knicks are Homer Simpson, and Rosen is the wise ass sitting on the toilet, Phil Jackson is Mr. Burns and Derek Fisher is Henry Kissinger:

The main problems, as Rosen sees them, are bad picks, lack of ball movement, too much dribbling, and not enough backdoor cuts -- four basic tenets of Tex Winter's offense. So how serious are these issues? Are the Knicks hexagoning when they should be triangling?

In some ways, the offense is being run exactly the way it's supposed to be run. The Triangle is designed to feature a great deal of post-ups and cuts. The Knicks lead the NBA in the number of possessions ending in a post-up, and rank 10th in possessions ending with a cut. Their real problem is that they are far better at finishing the relatively inefficient post-up than they are at finishing cuts.

New York ranks 10th in points per possession on post-ups (good!) and 24th in points scored per possession on cuts (bad!). Even the best post-up teams only average about 1.0 points per possession; the best cutting teams average closer to 1.25.

The Knicks do indeed suffer from over-dribbling and a lack of ball-movement, often due to some horrendous guard play, as well as Carmelo Anthony's natural iso-ball tendencies. The Knicks rank 3rd in isolation plays, with Melo slotted just behind league-leader James Harden in terms of individual iso-ballers.

But here's where things start to get weird: The Knicks are damn good at iso-ball. In fact, they average more points per possession on isolations (0.93) than they do on post-ups (0.89).

As for the lack of good screens, that's on the coach to a certain extent. Fisher has an excellent screen-setter in Robin Lopez, but usually holds him out at the end of games. Kristaps Porzingis is willing, but he can't really be expected to set bone-crushing picks right now.

When it comes down to it, however, the Knicks are simply terrible at hitting the easiest shots. They rank 23rd in field-goal percentage within 10 feet, and 29th in effective field-goal percentage on "wide open" shots (closest defender 6+ feet away). That is on the players. Fisher can't hit those shots for them. There are some good shooters on this club, so we can hope they rise to the mean. Until those shots fall, and a playmaker or two is added to the roster, there isn't that much that can be done.

All stats courtesy of