Originally Posted by mlh1981
Yeah, I know, but I like hearing the different interpretations from ISH posters as well.
"Different interpretations" from ISH posters is another way of saying you're trying to get a consensus from a bunch of kids who have very little factual information on a subject... -any- subject.
If you want to know what the triangle offense is, seriously, go look it up. Research it. If you want to know what people think of it, that's another story.
Look for interviews with Tex Winters, those are the best things for it. Being up here in Chicago the whole time through the Jordan years, seeing Jim Cleamons go to Dallas and trying to run it there and failing miserably, seeing other teams run elements of it, we always got a lot of information on it. In school, the kids who played would always ask the coaches about it because we heard so much about it.
The primary function of the triangle offense is to react to what your opponent takes away. A defense cannot take away every element of your offense. He can take away your drive by packing the paint, but that opens up the perimeter and the posts. He can front the post, but that opens up the lane for cutters and interior screens to get free. He can tighten up on your perimeter, but that leaves your drive open. It's all about initiating the offense, seeing how the defense reacts, and attacking whatever the defense leaves for you.
The reason why it's the "triangle" offense is because you're using three players spaced apart from each other in a triangle pattern. In the original triangle offense, they were the guard, the wing and the center, with the guard initiating, the wing cutting, and the center posting. However, anyone can play any position, so you basically have the initiator, the cutter and the post player. The two remaining players on the weak side are essentially spot up shooters, but different sets allow them to cut, screen or draw the defense away from the triangle.
If you have a lot of versatile players on your team, like the Bulls and Lakers did, you can continually shift the offense and capitalize on matchups. For example, anyone who can hit an outside shot, generally a long two or a three, is capable of being the initiator. Anyone with a post-up game can be the post player, and anyone who can move well without the ball can be a cutter. So players like Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Odom, etc. could and would play all three positions, depending on who was defending them. For example, if Kobe is being played by a defender that has slower footspeed than him, but is larger or stronger, therefore giving him more trouble in the post, putting Kobe in the initiator or cutter's position would give him an advantage as the defense is essentially taking away his ability to be the post player. If he's playing against a smaller, quicker defender, he'll have the advantage in the post.
And that, in a nutshell, is the triangle offense. There are tons of sets, and once you know the sets, you can improvise around them as you react to the defense. The key lies in knowing the sets, and not straying -too- far from them, so your teammates have some idea where the cutters and shooters will be. Because it's such a flexible offense, you can tailor it specifically to any players involved. It's also why you don't need a traditional point guard, and why Jackson and Winters like having taller point guards, and forwards with ballhandling skills and shooting range because they present more matchup problems to the defense by being able to play all of the positions of the triangle.