Knicks face tough schedule with rough offense


VIDEO: Bulls vs. Knicks

NEW YORK — The New York Knicks have admitted freely that the Triangle offense would take time to learn. Exhibit A: Their 104-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls in the first game of the season on Wednesday.

The Knicks’ offense looked slow, robotic, disjointed, clumsy, and just flat-out brutal. They only had 12 turnovers, but there were some ugly ones, like passes going straight out of bounds because guys weren’t on the same page.

And the shots …

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There was an occasional layup off a back-door play on the weak side, a Triangle staple. But most of the Knicks points were not a product of the offense, but of their ability to improvise after things broke down. They still have some talented offensive players on the roster.

But when Samuel Dalembert and Quincy Acy combine to take four 15-20 footers in the first quarter, something is very wrong. The Knicks took 21 shots from the restricted area and 17 3-pointers. They took just as many shots (38) from mid-range, with another nine from the similarly inefficient area of the paint outside the restricted area.

It wasn’t as old-school (and bad) as the Lakers’ shot chart on Wednesday, but that kind of shot selection isn’t going to win you many games. You can credit the Chicago defense some and also note that New York was without starting point guard Jose Calderon (strained right calf). But the offensive disfunction was just as clear in the preseason against lesser defenses and with a healthy Calderon.

UPDATE: The Knicks announced Thursday afternoon that Calderon is out 2-3 weeks.

“We’re going somewhere,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said after Wednesday’s game. “But at the beginning of where we’re going, it’s going to be difficult to get wins.”

Knicks president was a little more blunt. “Not ready for Showtime, were we?,” he responded when asked by the Daily News for his reaction to Wednesday’s performance.

20141030_nyk_schedNot at all. If the offense was bad, the defense was worse. But with the personnel the Knicks have, the defense probably won’t get much better over the course of the season, so the pressure is on the offense to start functioning, because the wins and losses count now.

And the Knicks play a tough early schedule as they try to look a little less disjointed every game. They will help Cleveland welcome back LeBron James on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, TNT) and then head back home to face East playoff teams Washington and Charlotte.

Their worst opponent in their first eight games is probably the Pistons, but that game is in Detroit, on the second night of a back-to-back for the Knicks. The eight games are all against East teams that could push New York out of a playoff spot, and the stretch includes three back-to-backs.

So you have to wonder when the Triangle will start to work, at least to a point where the Knicks have a chance to score consistently against NBA defenses.

“There’s not a calendar date,” Fisher said when asked about his team’s learning curve on offense. “It really just depends on our team and our players and our willingness to stick with the process.”

6 Comments

  1. NBA says:

    JR Smith is the Lance Stephenson of the Knicks. He belongs in a market like Utah or Milwaukee where he can be the man on an irrelevant team. Knicks now have great front office leadership in Phil Jackson but it will still take them a few years and by that time, Carmelo will be a little over the hill.

  2. jody collier says:

    Knicks will be alright. Jr gonna get traded, shumpart too.. think bargnani gone. At least stat is kinda healthy. Jackson dont take the job unless they have a chance to go all the way in a few yes by getting Anthony a robin to his batman cause the guys who were supposed to be are either not the same after serious injuries or care more about style & thug life(jr)

  3. knicks wont have any chance of championship this year

  4. Leyda says:

    Stoudemire need to play hard and stop low jumping and smith need to move around and stop standing still or around the ball and fisher need to stop taking Melo out all the time and let gilionyshot them threes and we win this game we better than this play hard win win win no chose can’t start season two o

  5. HeGotGamewantsmeforthesequelMosesHardwood says:

    The Knicks looked horrible,

  6. harriethehawk says:

    The Triangle Offense. The New York Knicks. Carmello Anthony. JR Smith. Winning. Forget about it.