Re: can someone explain the intricacies of the triangle offense to me?
The big secret behing the triangle is that it's not rocket science. It's mostly just a set around a post player, that's only real consistent requirement is to get the ball into him. After that, it's just a fill of those spots.
The trouble is that it requires a great deal of feel among the players in it. It rarely has specific call outs. It feeds off of a series of cuts, and off the ball screens, from which the post player essentially runs the offense, while the movement pulls attention away from him. Those cuts aren't called out like a specific play, they're much more instinctive. And that's why it's hard to run. You need at least three guys with some common ideas about how to approach a possession, without speaking. It can be done because the movement is pretty basic. It's mostly a combo of those cross cuts, and some flare screens, with some curl action run on the weakside, or from strong to weak. I ran some triangle in college, and always liked it.
Of the two pro triangle's that most people are used to, they're a little decieving. The Laker triangle fed off of a guy who was nearly impossible to stop at that time in the post. Those Laker teams weren't really displaying the triangle the way it's taught. The post play was much deeper, and the off ball stuff was more stagnant, mostly because of the quickness with which Shaq made plays, because he was so deep. There's not a ton of difference between the Laker triangle at that time, and the 4 out 1 in scheme Rudy T ran with the Rockets.
The Bull triangle was really genius. It was extremely unique in the way it was built. It was obviously built around the fact that Jordan was the best post scorer in basketball at the time. But it was further out than usual. It relied on even more strong side movement than usual, because Jordan was generally going to back out. And the weakside moved less, and was more pure shooter, to keep the help honest. It really required a special big, who could function on the strong side, but not in the post. So he needed to be able to pass, catch, move well, make decisions, and read his teammates, all while being willing to be that good and not have the ego to want those post touches. That's a tough player to find. Without that guy, you get both bigs on the weakside, now they both need to be able to shoot, and even then there's bigger help coming over to double. It's a fascinating lesson in team building.
Part of the Celtic problem with trying to run it like that was that they don't have a center to play the weakside. That big was going to be an automatic double every time. And with both Pierce and Allen on the strong side, you'd leave Rondo on the weakside too, leaving even less shooting.