By Jason Jones
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 - 7:17 am
In his search to bring diversity to the Kings' offense, coach Keith Smart found his answer in game film taken nearly 70 years ago.
And it wasn't from an NBA team.
"I was looking at a video from 1943," Smart said. "The Harlem Globetrotters were playing over in Europe, and I got a chance to see – when you get beyond all the theatrics the Globetrotters did – they were technically in a situation where they were in a low-post triangle action."
Smart won't schedule the Washington Generals or ask any of his players to dump confetti on an official, but that triangle action will be a part of what he adds to the Kings this season.
Smart introduced the triangle offense during training camp last week in Colorado Springs and will run it tonight at home during the team's first preseason game against the Phoenix Suns.
The triangle – or triple post – is best known in the NBA as the offense used by Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson to win 11 NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Smart is looking for a system to space the floor and cut down on the excessive dribbling that bogged down the Kings last season.
"I've been trying to give these guys some freedom to still get the ball and do your thing whenever you need to do it, but you'll have space," Smart said. "So we'll see how it goes."
Besides the triple post, the triangle relies on players cutting away from the ball, reading the defense and good passing.
It's a contrast from how the Kings have played offense in recent seasons, often with four players staring at whoever had the ball.
"So there's not so much standing around," said center DeMarcus Cousins. "Everyone gets involved, everyone gets touches. It's going to be harder to guard us as a team."
The Kings averaged 98.8 points last season, sixth in the NBA. But the Kings shot just 43.6 percent from the field (26th). The Kings were 29th in three-point shooting (31.6 percent) and 26th in assists (19.3 per game).
Smart is hopeful that when the Kings run the triangle during games it will prevent them from being stagnant and the ball getting stuck with one player.
And if the ball moves, the Kings should be able to find better shots and improve their offensive rankings.
"It makes the defense guard the whole court, weakside and strongside," said forward-center Chuck Hayes. "And the offense can work; it's been proven.
"You have to have the patience. You have to have the execution and be willing to trust it," Hayes continued. "If it doesn't work one time, do it again. … Eventually, you'll see the results."
Smart knows there will be growing pains because he's asking players to break old habits and share for the sake of the team. He doesn't plan to run the triangle full time or eliminate the pick-and-roll that was good to the Kings last season.
But Smart did let the Kings try to play as they did last season for a part of a recent practice.
"I let them play how we played in similar situations before, and I saw so much frustration," Smart said. "Then I put them in the motion and they got the same shots they had before and had space to make another play with it. So I think they understand what I'm trying to get them to do in the offense."
I remember the Kings tried the run the Triangle about 4 years ago while Reggie Theus was coaching them. It' failed. Maybe it'll work for them this time.