J.R. Smith: Knicks learning triangle

HARTFORD, Conn. -- After watching Wednesday's game against the Boston Celtics, one might wonder how long it will take the Knicks to get a hang of the triangle offense.

According to J.R. Smith, it might not be until January.

"It's going to take a few months," Smith said after the Knicks' 20-point loss to Boston in their preseason debut. "Over the course of the year, understanding where everybody is going to be, [understanding that] 'some like it here, [some] like it like that.' It's going to take awhile."

Smith's view mirrors that of coach Derek Fisher and president Phil Jackson, who both said during training camp that it will take awhile for the Knicks to get comfortable in the triangle.

But Smith is the first Knick to put a semidefinitive timetable on just how long the process may take.

The Knicks didn't look good in their first night running the offense, shooting just 41 percent from the floor and turning the ball over 28 times.

"I thought we went out there and started thinking too much instead of just playing," said Smith, who had seven points in his triangle debut. "We have to put a little more trust in our front-office people. ... They set this team around the type of players we are, and we have to trust our instincts a little more and just play. We all know how to get into our offense and just play the right way. It's just a matter of when we get into it if they take something away, don't get too anxious or too nervous and turn the ball over."

Smith also offered some insight on why the Knicks had such a tough time on the defensive end, allowing Boston to hit 49 percent from the field. Celtics big men Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk combined to hit six-of-eight 3s, and Boston had 38 points in the paint -- 10 more than the Knicks.

So, what was the problem?

"Keeping the ball out of the middle of the floor," Smith said. "They got a lot of dribble penetration. Sometimes, we have to hold the person who's on the ball more accountable instead of helping. That's what got a lot of the bigs open jump shots."