Nov. 11--If Phil Jackson is poised to take the Lakers' job the quick firing of Mike Brown created, that means the triangle offense isn't far behind.
Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace have run the intricate offense. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash have not.
Howard is a big man known more for defense and rebounding than playmaking. Nash won two most valuable player awards making an art form of the high pick-and-roll in Phoenix. Could it work?
"It worked when Shaq was there," said Bulls radio color analyst Bill Wennington, who ran the offense under Jackson during the Bulls' second three-peat. "The ball will be going through the middle anyway. It's just now there will be more of an emphasis on Dwight making plays with the ball, which he can do.
"And Nash is the perfect guy because he'll make sure guys get to their spots. He will get the ball upcourt in a good flow. On paper, it looks perfect."
The triangle features several screen-and-roll actions. Wennington also thinks Jackson, who retired before last season, would fit with the new-look Lakers.
"To me, it's a logical choice," Wennington said before the Bulls beat the Timberwolves 87-80. "It's totally up to Phil, obviously. But it's a team he just left and I think it's more talented now than when he left. He's the best at coaching stars."
As for Brown, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is part of a fraternity that knows how tough the business can be.
"Mike is a heck of a guy and a great coach so it's disappointing, but that's the way it is," Thibodeau said. "Five games into the season with a lot of new guys, it's unfortunate."
Would Thibodeau be surprised to see Jackson return yet again?
"Nothing would surprise me," he said. "He certainly has a proven track record."
Point taken: If Kirk Hinrich misses time with his strained right hip and hamstring, rookie Marquis Teague's minutes will increase. Teague scored his first NBA points on a driving layup late in the third quarter and added a rebound in six minutes.
"I wasn't really overwhelmed," Teague said. "I was comfortable and felt ready. It's just basketball. I'm just doing what Thibs asks me to do and try to play under control."
Teague missed another layup after aggressively attacking the rim -- "I should've dunked it," he said --and graded his on-the-ball defense better than his off-the-ball.
Layups: Joakim Noah's first sky hook prompted goggles discussion because Noah worked with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar last summer. "I had to wear goggles for a couple of preseason games my second year," Noah said. "Actually, I was wearing Horace Grant's goggles after we found them at the Berto Center. It was a very humbling moment." ... Saturday marked the 23rd anniversary of the expansion Timberwolves' first victory, with Thibodeau in his first NBA season as an assistant on Bill Musselman's staff.
(c)2012 the Chicago Tribune
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