NBA

Courtney Lee.

Courtney Lee credits scrapping the triangle as the reason for the Knicks' early success

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The New York Knicks are enjoying a resurgence this season and fans in Madison Square Garden are enjoying watching their team play again.

After several awful campaigns, the franchise made a number of significant changes over the summer in an effort to build a team for the future and with a focus on winning.

They eventually shipped star Carmelo Anthony after he agreed to waive his no-trade clause to move to the Oklahoma City Thunder and it has allowed them to make Kristaps Porzingis the leader of the team, which is already proving to be an inspired decision.

Before Melo's departure, the organisation also parted ways with president Phil Jackson who had a controversial tenure in the Big Apple.

As well as matters off the court, Jackson was keen to have an influence on it and was obsessed with seeing the team operate the triangle offense.

Head coach Jeff Hornacek was hired in 2016 but was not allowed to carry out his own playing style and was instructed to use aspects of the triangle system.

Now that the 'Zen Master' is out of the picture, Hornacek has been able to adopt his preferred philosophy and it is paying dividends.

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers

Shooting guard Courtney Lee is in no doubt that the change is the reason for their good form so far this season offensively.

"I'm going to say it point blank and clear: we're not running the triangle," Lee said, according to Peter Botte of New York Daily News. "We're running a different offense that's more fast-paced and it's more suitable for my style of play."

Jackson had huge success running this as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers in the past but he had the luxury of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant at his disposal which the Knicks did not.

The team is seeing much more success deploying Hornacek's up-tempo style. Lee's numbers, in particular, have improved as a result.

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets

Last year, he averaged 10.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game on 45.6 percent shooting and 40.1 from three-point range.

Now those numbers have risen to 12.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 3.3 apg on 48 percent from the field and 46.7 from downtown.

The 32-year-old believes things are a lot simpler now and is working for a relatively young New York roster.

Utah Jazz v New York Knicks

"I didn't say I wasn't a fan of the triangle. The triangle is just - my game suits the triangle also, but you slow it down a little bit," Lee said.

"You make passes, you get it to the pinch-post, and then you play off that, but the offense now is to just get up and down. First open look, take it and just try to make the right play."

The Knicks will entertain the Orlando Magic in an early encounter on Sunday in their next outing.

Topics:
NBA
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Kristaps Porzingis
New York Knicks

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