Jackson: Enough focus on triangle

NEW YORK -- Knicks president Phil Jackson didn't appreciate NBA commissioner Adam Silver sharing his thoughts on the team's new triangle offense.

Silver jokingly said it "clearly" looked as though the Knicks were "still learning" the triangle after their loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

Jackson on Monday addressed the commissioner's comments.

"I wasn't so humored by the commissioner actually jumping in on top of that, too. He doesn't need to get in on that. There's enough focus on [the] triangle." Knicks president Phil Jackson

"I wasn't so humored by the commissioner actually jumping in on top of that, too," he said. "He doesn't need to get in on that. There's enough focus on [the] triangle. It's not anything. It's a system. It's simple basketball. Just play the game. We're over the triangle; let's get to business and play the right way."

Jackson, unprompted, offered his thoughts on Silver during a session with reporters before the Knicks' 91-85 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

Silver was asked about the Knicks' new offense Thursday.

"I watched the Knicks' game last night," Silver said with a laugh. "Clearly, they're still learning the triangle. I still don't understand it. But they're learning it. But that's what the game is all about. You have a new coach; you have a new president of basketball operations in Phil Jackson; you have a couple new players on the team."

The Knicks (2-6) struggled on both ends of the floor through the first eight games of the season.

Coach Derek Fisher noted before Monday's game that some players appeared tentative while running the triangle offense.

The Knicks entered play Monday ranked 20th in points per 100 possessions and 19th in field goal percentage.

"They're still quite a ways from their execution capability as a team. And this is going to happen," Jackson said. "It's all part of the process."

Jackson said he told his coaches to expect the team to struggle early on thanks in part to a difficult schedule. The Knicks have played eight games in the first 12 days of the season, seven against teams that made the playoffs in 2013-14. The lone exception was a road game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I see growth in this team, and I'm optimistic," Jackson said. "It's not always the final score; it's sometimes how you play. I think we're playing the game much better and we're getting some activity that we like to see."

In addition to praising the Knicks, Jackson complained about the officiating in New York's loss to the Hawks on Saturday.

"I was disappointed in the refereeing the other night with just letting Atlanta slap the ball out of our players' hands and get turnovers," he said before Monday's game.

Jackson also talked to Carmelo Anthony on Monday about his recent shooting struggles. Entering play Monday, Anthony had missed 58 of his previous 84 shots. He went 11-for-25 in Monday's loss to Atlanta.

"It kind of gave me some insight into how to approach this new system and what to expect and what mindset to have out there on the basketball court," Anthony said of his conversation with Jackson.

Jackson said last month that Anthony, whom he signed to a five-year, $124 million contract over the summer, was "just scratching the surface of his greatness."

On Monday, Jackson expounded on that point, saying he'd like to see Anthony be more aggressive on defense and attack the offensive glass. Jackson added that he'd like Anthony to move the ball more frequently in the triangle offense and stay within the offense.

"It's breaking a habit, and sometimes that's not so easy," Jackson said.

Jackson also complimented first-year coach Fisher and said he's tried to "find a balance" between sharing input with the team and keeping his distance to allow Fisher to establish his authority.

"He's understanding the complexity of thinking in terms of one to 15 [on the roster]," said Jackson, who is under contract for five years and being paid $12 million per season. "I think it's a learning process. He's doing fine."

Lastly, Jackson said he has talked to Knicks owner and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan on several occasions since the season started.

Jackson has said he sought assurances that Dolan wouldn't meddle in basketball decisions before he accepted the position as Knicks president in March.

"Mostly, it was about pleasantries," Jackson said of his interactions with the owner. "But, to my surprise, he was happy with how the team performed."