J.R. Smith, Derek Fisher

The triangle offense is a complex scheme to grasp for many NBA players, and some of these New York Knicks players are going to learn it the hard way this season. Knicks shooting guard JR Smith is one of them.

Smith says it's been a "struggle" so far with the new offense being taught by head coach Derek Fisher and president Phil Jackson. Smith has to transition from behind a shoot-first player who forces shots to now being team player dealing with a team-first mentality.

Smith, a former Sixth Man of the Year for New York, says it has not been the smoothest transition.

"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "I mean, believe it or not being the type of player I've been, it's a struggle. I'm not going to lie.

"Trying to think about the rest of the team over myself or my scoring is something that I never really had to do before," Smith continued. "I've always been in a situation to score, (now I'm) in position to take my time and let the game come and let my teammates succeed more than myself, I think that's the ultimate win."

Other players have said thing similar when regarding the triangle, such as star small forward Carmelo Anthony.

Smith has only averaged 8.5 points per game on 39 percent shooting so far in the preseason. However, Smith is still learning with some points from Fisher about a team-first mentality.

"He just told me -- look at the rings they have," Smith said. "It's worked. I want one so bad, I'll do whatever it takes. If it takes me sacrificing my scoring that's what it takes."

Fisher says the transition will not happen overnight.

"You know J.R. like many players, this is difficult to do," Fisher said at practice on Thursday. "Last night, we talked about we're not just installing new software to the computer. We're building a computer from scratch and that's not easy to do."

Melo says JR isn't alone with this transition.

"I don't think it's a struggle for J.R.," Melo said. "It's something new for everybody. It's a test. It's a new system... I can just put my arm around him and tell him be patient."

"It's going to work itself out. And the more we play the more we're going to get used to this system, the more we're going to find where he can be productive, I can be productive, everybody can be productive."

This season will likely be a learning process for the Knicks roster until they are able to land another superstar next offseason to be a legit championship contender. We'll see how good they can be this year as the 2014-15 season begins very soon.


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