The Triangle

The Lakers utilize the Triangle offense in a majority of their possessions. It is worth getting familiar with it and understanding how it works. The starters will usually use the offense more than the reserves will.

The Triangle offense was developed by Sam Barry while he was coaching at USC, but it became more refined under Tex Winter. Winter brought the offense with him to his college coaching stints and served as an assistant coach to Phil Jackson in Chicago and as a consultant in Los Angeles.

The main idea of the triangle offense is to create a sideline triangle on the strong-side and create a two man game on the weak-side. This spacing should enable easy passes, and thus easy baskets. The following diagram shows a typical triangle offensive formation, before the offense is in motion.

The point guard has the ball and when the offense is in motion, he will pass to the small forward and cut to the corner. This is shown in the next diagram.

The triangle has now been made with the point guard, small forward and center. The ball can be easily fed to the post as the offense will flow through the center, or Bynum, in the Lakers’ case.

When the ball is passed into the post, numerous screens and cuts can take place in order to get the ball to an open man.

This video shows the triangle in action. Gasol receives the ball in the high post in all of these plays. First, he dishes to  Jordan Farmar for three,  he then takes his own shot,  after, he receives the pass off the pick-and-roll and scores and then he dishes to the cutting Lamar Odom for the dunk.

All these diagrams were cribbed from here.

Check out these links for more info: Wikipedia Hoop Tactics Basketball Plays


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