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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Smith's article:

"A bigger problem may be continued use of the triple-post offense, which rarely takes advantage of a penetrating guard's strengths. In scrimmages Williams has shown consistent ability to penetrate and break down defenses, something the Bulls haven't done since Michael Jordan left."


I'm gonna open up an old thread here but... in my mind its time to scrap the triangle offense. I've always believed that players MAKE the triangle, not the other way around. Add to this, the fact that we still have lots of young players trying to learn the game and it makes for a mess on offense (as seen many times last year).

Of all the Bulls players, it seems to me that very few of them have a grasp of the offense, and even less can effectively implement it. As a fan, I've grown accustomed to seeing it, but I just think its no longer a good fit for these Bulls.

The triangle, when run correctly, makes for easy post opportunities, great passing, and open outside shots. However, when run poorly, it creates confusion, last second shots on the 24, and a stagnant half-court O. The Bulls have only showed the latter the past 4 seasons.

Your opinions, as always, welcome.


VD
 

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From Smith's article:

"A bigger problem may be continued use of the triple-post offense, which rarely takes advantage of a penetrating guard's strengths. In scrimmages Williams has shown consistent ability to penetrate and break down defenses, something the Bulls haven't done since Michael Jordan left."
err... the Triangle seemed to take advantage of a penetrating guard's strengths when we had MJ... what's the problem?

In fact, I would say the triangle actually needs a guy who can create on its own to be successful, and a major reason it hasn't been for the past several years is the lack of such a player (not that the Lakers have no such problems with Shaq and Kobe).

Part of it is that JWill will hopefully be able to create and bail out the offense when it gets stuck. That's something the triangle needs... a bailout guy. In relation though, the triangle feeds off situations where defenses collapse on a guy like that. When defenses collapse on that guy, the triangle lets him redistribute to guys on the perimeter who can stroke the deep ball (before this was BJ, Pax, Kerr, and Kukoc feeding off MJ and Pip... now it's going to be Rose, Hassell, and Crawford feeding off JWill and Curry (on offense)... note this is also a reason to maybe look for a guy like Pat Garrity or Vlad Radmanovich).

In short, I don't see much problem with the triangle. In fact, I see much less than I did last year when Cartwright came on and we basically had a bunch of guys that weren't great passers or outside shooters playing most of the time (Artest, Mercer, ERob, Fizer, Ollie). Those guys are gone or playing less, and their minutes are going to guys that all have the ability to shoot from the outside and pass; Rose, JWill, Crawford, Hassell. Also, Curry's hands themselves are pretty good, so he will improve at getting the ball in the post. Chandler's ball handling is still a sore point, but the other changes, to my mind, make us much better at running the triangle than we were last year (or in years previous, for that matter)
 

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First off, let me start by saying that Sam Smith doesn't know what he is talking about in this instance. Penetration works just fine in the triangle offense. It worked fine when MJ would do it and it will work fine when JWill or anyone else does it. IMO, penetration is one of those things that can be effective in almost any offensive set.

Second, the triangle is a GOOD offense. The Bulsl ran it during their championship years very effectively, the Lakers run it effectively, the Kings run a version of it effectively. The trick with the triangle is that it has a big learning curve. Ittakes quite a while for folks to get it down because it is practiced with repeptition. Once the Bulsl have it they will have it, until then they will look sloppy running it. Still, it's a good offense and I feel very comfortable with the Bulls keeping with it.
 

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The triangle is not the end all be all of offenses. What it accomplishes is nice, but you have to figure a lot of the success it had in the NBA has to do with personnel. As MikeDC noted, it needed a bailout guy when the shot clock was winding down, MJ and Kobe respectively. Two pretty talented guys, don't you think?

Instead of forcing the Bulls players into that system, another system more suited to their strngths could be used. It is up to the coach to make that decision.
 

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LOL, to add one more point, under what circumstances would ANY offensive system lead the Bulls teams of the past four years to flourish? Or even make a significant difference?

None I can think of. Those guys lost a bunch of games because they were awful basketball teams. No system would change that fact.
 

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9 of the last 12 championships were won by using the triangle. It's not a bad system.

Jordan & Kobe= Penetration

Sam Smith is desperate for article ideas, so he pulls out the old "Scrap the Triangle" argument from archives. To put it bluntly, if the players aren't bright enough to figure out the triangle, they probably aren't bright enough to win a championship.
 

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I think Smith is trying to say that the Triangle takes less advantage of a penetrating guards strengths. This is a true statement but a guard can penetrate in the triangle, but that usually disrupts the balance on the floor, and probably is not going to work as well unless it is Kobe or MJ.

I like the triangle and variations of it, but right now I would run a different offense for the players the Bulls have, and in the future bring the triangle along, if I thought it was necessary.
 

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How can the triangle be ran and ran correctly if you have 7 or 8 new players on the team every year? Nothing wrong with triangle. We just need to have a team thats together more than 1 year!

I agree. The triangle does not hinder the guard or forward that drives to the hoop!
 

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Originally posted by <b>BCH</b>!
I think Smith is trying to say that the Triangle takes less advantage of a penetrating guards strengths. This is a true statement but a guard can penetrate in the triangle, but that usually disrupts the balance on the floor, and probably is not going to work as well unless it is Kobe or MJ.

I like the triangle and variations of it, but right now I would run a different offense for the players the Bulls have, and in the future bring the triangle along, if I thought it was necessary.
I might agree to this is JWill had been in the league for a few years and was established. But until he shows that he deserves to have the ball in his hands 90% of the time, why would this be the case?

Even if JWill was at that level, it seems to me that the best coaches are able to create defensive schemes come playoff time to stop the point-guard-dominated offenses. Example - Jason Kidd looked much, much more effective in the regular season than in the championships.

I vote for the triangle.

p.s. Most Offenses would run better with Kobe or MJ, right?
 

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Originally posted by <b>johnston797</b>!


I might agree to this is JWill had been in the league for a few years and was established. But until he shows that he deserves to have the ball in his hands 90% of the time, why would this be the case?

Even if JWill was at that level, it seems to me that the best coaches are able to create defensive schemes come playoff time to stop the point-guard-dominated offenses. Example - Jason Kidd looked much, much more effective in the regular season than in the championships.

I vote for the triangle.

p.s. Most Offenses would run better with Kobe or MJ, right?
Yeah. My point was it doesn't make sense to say it worked with MJ because it is MJ.

I am not sure how many people understand the point of the triangle but it is to throw the ball into a post up spot whether high or low and run cuts off of it, while spacing hte floor. What players do off the ball is determined by what the defenders are doing. But the constant is that the ball goes into the post somewhere. Smith is right that it rarely takes advantage of a penetrating guard.

MJ posted quite a lot. Williams is not going to be that type of guard. There is a reason you don't need a traditional PG in a triangle offense. JWill is going to be able to function in the offense, i Just feel his talents would be better served with the ball in his hands creating for himself and his teammates.
 

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I think now that the roster is hopefully somewhat set for a few years in its core, the Bulls should make the decision as to what kind of offense they are going to maintain.

I remember a few weeks back reading Jay Williams' opinion of the triangle... something to the effect of him getting used to it, but being somewhat restrictive.

I think the triangle offense itself isn't actually a difficult offense to grasp, but the reason why players (especially young exciting players) have problems adapting to it is because it's somewhat counterintuitive. A lot of high school and college coaches preach constant movement, constant cutting... I'm sure a lot of times, Chandler and Curry just had to run back and forth on the baseline until they were open and were fed the ball..

The triangle is less movement than that. Players go to set spots on the floor, and instead of running routes like wide receivers would in football, they are moving in response to whoever is handling the ball. It's a lot more controlled, and focuses more on the individual matchups and less on running the team around. I think this is really easy to observe on the Lakers, a team that runs the open court only when it is WIDE open, and a team that is sometimes criticized when its role players "stand still" as soon as Kobe or Shaq get the ball. But that's how the triangle works! That's how it worked for MJ and Pippen too... a lot of guys would just run to their favorite spots on the perimeter or sit on the blocks to crash the boards, and wait for outlet passes or missed shots... you rarely saw Ron Harper or John Paxon get a sweet cut in the lane for an easy layup. You saw a lot fewer alley-oops to Longley or Ho Grant than there could have been.

You DID see Hodges, Kerr, Kukoc, and Paxson make some huge plays from their outside set spots, including two NBA Finals game winners.

Jay Williams had commented that it's difficult to shake defenses because they know where you are going on the floor before you get there. It's especially tough for him to adapt because he came from such a strong, set collegiate offensive scheme that worked pretty dang well for them (I think Duke got beaten by other teams because of their defensive scheme, not their offense). A scheme that involved two guys in the backcourt doing a lot of running around, several good ball handlers, and a bunch of quick players that could all score. A lot of team chemistry was involved, a lot of passing, and a lot of running the floor and deceiving defenses.

Now, he's told to just find the mismatch or the open man and let them go to work...? That's got to be difficult to accept.

The triangle should be used sparingly, if at all... it can be effective in the half-court offense when Williams, Rose, Crawford, Fizer, and Curry are on the floor (all players that can create their own offense).

But there should be a controlled fast-break attitude to the team, a desire to constantly run the ball. These kids are young; they have the energy to wear down older, veterans by constantly sprinting down the court... and with an intelligent point guard in Jay Williams, the fast break becomes much more appealing. Good passers are useful in using the entire floor, not just one half of it.

If I were head coach of the Bulls? I would focus on these skills: defensive rebounding, outlet passing, ball-handling. Every player on the roster would have to be good at every single one of these, even Corie Blount and Freddie Hoiberg. I would want to see every player be able to haul down a rebound and then take off down the floor with guys on their wings, attacking attacking attacking the hoop. Grab a board and start running.

In my opinion, that's the only way the Bulls are going to be able to amass any wins this season. They are all still too young and undeveloped to actually be able to take on other more skilled players. Jay Williams is a good player, but he's still a rookie. Jamal Crawford showed flashes of strength, but only in flashes. Even Jalen Rose is an excellent all-around player but there are still plenty of guys in the NBA better than him...

The Bulls are not going to win it on matchups, but matchups are what the triangle offense preaches. The Bulls are going to win by capitalizing their youth and athleticism, run-and-gun speed of game. Jamal Crawford may not be better than, say, Paul Pierce. Certainly not. Pierce will shut down Crawford if given a chance, and Craw won't be able to stop Pierce on the defensive end. But if the Bulls offense is FASTER than Paul Pierce, then Crawford won't have to worry about taking on Pierce... he'll already be past him.

Let the Baby Bulls run.
 

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One more quick post on penetration...

The triangle DOES allow for penetrating defenses, although I think the collapsing zone defenses make it a little difficult. But the question is, do we really want Jay Williams penetrating a lot? I mean, it's great if he can break down his opponent often, get inside the lane and score or kick it, but doesn't that put a lot of emphasis on him? What do we do when he's on the bench? Or God forbid, injured?

We don't really want to see Jay Williams do a LOT of penetrating anyway. Having the ability to, and exercising that ability several times a game, is fine... but it's more the capability to penetrate that is useful to an offensive scheme, because of the way the defenses are going to have to play around Jay...

But is he even good enough to do that? Somehow I don't see Williams being able to shake a lot of NBA-speed defenders, or be able to make wise plays when Mutumbo, David Robinson, Raef LaFrentz, Ben Wallace, or Shaquille O'Neal come over on help defense.
 

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Off topic:

I think we should all, just for a moment, reflect on that sorry three post offense designed around Charles Oakley that Floyd "schemed" last year... I don't think I have seen a worse offense in my life. With the power forward being stationed out by the three point line-- for passing??? it definitely left him in good position for rebounding??? How did Pink ever survive as a coach in this league. Can anyone think of a worse offense? Its funny to think that was only a year ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally posted by <b>Showtyme</b>!
...
In my opinion, that's the only way the Bulls are going to be able to amass any wins this season. They are all still too young and undeveloped to actually be able to take on other more skilled players. Jay Williams is a good player, but he's still a rookie. Jamal Crawford showed flashes of strength, but only in flashes. Even Jalen Rose is an excellent all-around player but there are still plenty of guys in the NBA better than him...

The Bulls are not going to win it on matchups, but matchups are what the triangle offense preaches. The Bulls are going to win by capitalizing their youth and athleticism, run-and-gun speed of game. Jamal Crawford may not be better than, say, Paul Pierce. Certainly not. Pierce will shut down Crawford if given a chance, and Craw won't be able to stop Pierce on the defensive end. But if the Bulls offense is FASTER than Paul Pierce, then Crawford won't have to worry about taking on Pierce... he'll already be past him.

Let the Baby Bulls run.
Nice post Showtyme.

We simply to do not have the personnel to run the triangle effectively. This include players AND coaches. I would however prefer the offensive sets we employed w/ Jalen Rose on board the last 30 or so games of the season. There, we saw a lot quicker outlet passes to start the break, the guards (Crawford and Rose) noticibly pushing the tempo, and more motion in our half court sets (pick-and-roll, slashes, etc.)


VD
 

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I have no problem with the Bulls using the triangle as a template. Even the best Bulls teams weren't hidebound by it, though, and that's the problem I saw with the way Floyd in particular taught it. Guys would be pulling out of easy 3-on-2s and missing passes to trailers because they were so concerned about being at a particular spot on the floor. The last thing in the world Tex Winter intended the triangle to do is to take away easy baskets.

Even when executed at its highest level, though, the triangle's really a three-quarter offense. A set offense is nice, but it's not what'll win you a tough deciding quarter in a playoff game.

I think we're all in agreement that with their current personnel, the Bulls need to look to run as much as possible. JWill and Crawford are lightning fast, and Chandler and Curry run about as well as any 4/5 duo in the league. Easy baskets have to be a giant, giant point of emphasis with this team.

I would also like to see them run a lot more screen and roll plays. Rose is already a proven threat with that play--he has the incredibly strong mid-range J, he can finish at the hoop, and he can drive and dish. Williams to me has the potential to be an dominant pick-and-roll player: with his speed and handle he's able to stay so close to the screener if he chooses to dribble around it, or he can pull up and bomb. With two strong finishers like Curry and Chandler setting picks, Cartwright has to make the pick-and-roll more of a staple in the offense.

In short, don't scrap the triangle, but certainly look to diversify it.
 

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Sam Smith doesn't know basketball

Let's get something straight, Sam. You may understand the politics of basketball, but you have no clue about the game itself. How can you criticize the triangle or the Bulls' use of it when you don't even understand how the offense works?

Sam quite often commits fallacies in his arguments because he makes incorrect assumption. In this case, he ASSUMES that because the triangle was successful with wing players that it can't be successful with penetrating ball handlers like JWill. He's way off.

The triangle offense is simply a system infrastructure that is then tailored to the talents of the players using it. When the Bulls offense was run primarily through strong wing players like Jordan, Pippen and Kukoc it utilized a lot of motion and cutting to be effective. When PJ went to the Lake Show and they had a strong inside presence, they tailored it more to a low-post triangle. The offense itself is versatile and can be run through any type of personnel.

With JWill, I think the offense can be more effective than it ever was before. We have seen PGs in the traingle traditionally feed the post and hang on the perimeter for the distance shot like Pax, BJ, and DFisher have done. JWill can certainly fulfill that end of the PG role, but he can also penetrate which creates another threat when he has the ball. Defenders will be kept on their toes not knowing whether to defend the shot, drive or pass. When he penetrates it will cause defenses to collapse and leave open guys for outside shots or draw away inside defenders from Curry and Chandler. I think JWill will work out just fine in the triangle and his ability to run an offense is just more reason to keep the more difficult but often effective offense.
 

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Sam Smith does know what he's talking about. The triangle does not fully utilize the talents of ball-handling PGs. Listen to Jerry Krause, he constantly says it wherever he goes. I remember reading Phil Jackson quoted as saying that Payton would never be the player he is if he was in Chicago because the triangle offense (and playing alongside MJ) would not fully utilize his talents.

So the question definitely has some merits. Is the triangle the right system? Are we not wasting Jay Will? Are we making things too difficult for Curry and Chandler? Maybe. If it's just a matter of them getting used to it, then go for it. We've already had four cr*ppy years, we can have a fifth mediocre if this means excellence next year.
 

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Originally posted by <b>BCH</b>!
I think Smith is trying to say that the Triangle takes less advantage of a penetrating guards strengths. This is a true statement but a guard can penetrate in the triangle, but that usually disrupts the balance on the floor, and probably is not going to work as well unless it is Kobe or MJ.

I like the triangle and variations of it, but right now I would run a different offense for the players the Bulls have, and in the future bring the triangle along, if I thought it was necessary.
1st of all when run right it plays to the strength of a team no matter what it is

it is based on spacing so penetrating guards always have room to work with

if the teams's stregnth is post play there is a reason its called the triple post offense a team can take advantage of its personel in that facet of the game as the lakers prove every year

and if its outside shooting the sets are made for kicking out to the shooter from the post as well as drive and kick situations

inexperiened player can make any offense look bad through inferior play and the flip side of that statement is true as well

its not the system its the players running it

and another point i would like to make is there is no offense in the nba that works well without a good bailout player


because if an offense was so good it didn't need a bailout player every team would be using it
 

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Originally posted by <b>Showtyme</b>!
The triangle should be used sparingly, if at all... it can be effective in the half-court offense when Williams, Rose, Crawford, Fizer, and Curry are on the floor (all players that can create their own offense).

But there should be a controlled fast-break attitude to the team, a desire to constantly run the ball. These kids are young; they have the energy to wear down older, veterans by constantly sprinting down the court... and with an intelligent point guard in Jay Williams, the fast break becomes much more appealing. Good passers are useful in using the entire floor, not just one half of it.

If I were head coach of the Bulls? I would focus on these skills: defensive rebounding, outlet passing, ball-handling. Every player on the roster would have to be good at every single one of these, even Corie Blount and Freddie Hoiberg. I would want to see every player be able to haul down a rebound and then take off down the floor with guys on their wings, attacking attacking attacking the hoop. Grab a board and start running.
Excellent post, Showtyme!. I just believe that you are misinformed about how the triangle works. While I have no link, I'm sure that Tex Winter has emphasized more than once that the team should run the fast-break as often as possible. Transition points are a huge part of any offensive scheme. The triangle only comes into place after the fast break has been thwarted.

Triangle may have players parked at times, but they should be parked in high percentage areas for their own shots. This seems better than running around cluelessly expending energy. I've seen in the past, though, that Bulls basketball had a lot less standing around than other teams who tend to use isolations and pick-and-roll two-man games. A series of controlled cuts to the hoop, creating multiple options which are difficult to defend seems to be what every team should try to create with their offense. The triangle does this.

I am no expert on the triple-post, by any means, but Kneepad! comes close. He's posted links and given explanations in the past that are so clear and thorough that it amazes me that this argument continues to come up on basketballboards/realGM/BullsNews/worldXing. I imagine the only reason he hasn't weighed in this time is that he's either been off-line, he's tired of arguing the same point to people who won't hear it, or all of his crying and gnashing of teeth for the abuse the triangle receives in the press has somehow damaged his keyboard.

Showtyme! the sarcasm was not aimed at you, your post was great. It's just I'm frustrated that people who argue against the triangle are often arguing against things which aren't even part of it. Often this is through ignorance of the scheme, though sometimes it is just through just plain bullish (or wizardish) obstinance!

GO BULLS!!!:rbanana: :wbanana: :rbanana: :wbanana: :rbanana:
 

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I assume by wizardish obstinance you allude to me.

I fully understance the triangle and I understand what it is trying to accomplish. If you want to do research over what I have said about it, it is available for search at RealGM as well as here, if I made any ocmments about it here.

The triangle is not magical. It is a system. It tries to account for everything but it can't which is why Winter is to this day still modifying it. Not every player will perform up to their abilities in the triangle. Consider that it could have a limiting effect on certain players.

This is how I think of the triangle. It is a great system when you have 1 or 2 superstars surrounded by role players. It requires players to make decisions and to react to certain cues. However, its main focus will almost always be around the superstar. For the Bulls it was MJ, for the Lakers it is Shaq. If you do not have that superstar focus in the offense, it loses identity. An example of this would be for the Lakers to run the triangle with Fox as the focus and using Shaq as a Bill Cartwright and Kobe as a Ron Harper. Were Cart and Harp effective? Yes, but it would be limiting to Shaq and Kobe, while maxing Fox, I am sure.

The Bulls are in a situation where their best player is Rose and the determination has almost been made that he is not going to be the focus. The Bulls need to get the identity and then utilize the triangle concepts to tailor an offense, whether it is the triangle or not, to fit that identity. They are trying to force an identity to players in the triangle concept. I don't think it is going to work.

That is just how I see it. The concept and how it is actually run on the floor are two different things.
 
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