ORLANDO, Fla. — Phil Jackson’s triangle offense is not dead and buried, but it’s moving toward life support.
As pre-planned, the Knicks ran a bunch of triangle sets during summer-league practice Thursday, but it’s a long way until late September.
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, trying to be deferential to his ousted boss, said he can see keeping some triangle actions next season, but added the offense will evolve in the coming months and the club won’t seek triangle-type players in free agency.
Hornacek ran an exciting, fast-paced attack in Phoenix. Last season, he attempted to blend his offense with Jackson’s. When the Knicks began losing badly, Jackson ordered the full-blown triangle the week before the All-Star break, undermining his coach.
“We need to get some more fast-break points,’’ Hornacek said. “I think we were pretty low in that. We want to be able to execute and have that system where our guys can do that and feel comfortable with executing and not being rushed, but yeah, we want to try to get the ball up the court.”
Hornacek said he’s still searching and has time until training camp starts in the fall.
“That’s possible,’’ Hornacek said when asked if he’d gravitate toward his Phoenix offense. “We’ll work on all that stuff. We’re always trying to figure out what’s best for our players. We don’t even know what the roster is going to end up looking like. We have some ideas. But all of that will come together later in the summer.”
Hornacek appeared sensitive to not criticizing Jackson’s cherished yet antiquated sets that require a massive amount of cutting and passing and getting all five players in perfect synchronicity.
“We’re going to work on different things and add things, find an offense that fits,’’ Hornacek said. “You guys probably made a huge deal out of the triangle options. If there’s three guys on one side of the court, you’re going to have one guy in the post area and two guys on the wings and then you’re just playing ball.
“We’re going to do a lot of things from last year, some new things and we’ll blend it. Maybe it gives us some more space.”
Jackson had decreed he would look only for players who can master the triangle system.
“I don’t think you necessarily need to look at does a guy fit this system or that system?,’’ Hornacek said. “It’s ‘can this guy play ball? Can we mold him into what we want to do?’ ”
Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina, drafted partly due to his triangle potential, has liked what he has seen from the offense.
“I like it a lot,’’ he said. “I think it can be very efficient. It’s close [to the triangle]. It’s a lot of movement. A lot of passes, movement, trying to get a good shot. Like basketball. It’s really a good place.”