Charley Rosen is a basketball lifer–a former assistant for Phil Jackson on the Albany Patroons CBA team way back when. Phil trusts Rosen and just gave him the skinny on every player on the Knicks roster. About the Knicks “only certified All-Star” Carmelo Anthony, Jackson says in the triangle he’ll have “reads like a quarterback looking for his first option” (which has previously been the rim, btw) and that Melo will get “plenty of iso opportunities” and a “bunch of post-up looks.” Wow, what’s changed in the triangle? Oh yeah, the quarterback thing.
Jackson thinks Andrea Bargnani will “thrive in the triangle.” J.R. Smith is “easily the best athlete on the team.” Tim Hardaway Jr. has “a tendency to stand around and wait” and also has trouble “finishing with his left hand.” As for Amar’e Stoudemire, “playing adequate defense is a real challenge for him.” That’s adequate, not good. Phil told Rosen more, and ESPN has the player by player breakdown here. Phil Jackson, with his stinting praise, is already doing one think in New York like a Zen master: managing expectations.