Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Definitive Triangle Offense Resources List

When I first started this blog, my hope was that anyone who wondered how the triangle worked could come to this blog and find a simple explanation.  There was a slight problem though, I had no idea where to begin!  Should I start with the two passes, the reads of the offense, or its philosophies and principles?  I tried to broadly describe the offense, but the explanations were empty (see: AmMo Moments).  Despite my best efforts,  I couldn't accurately write about the triangle without the use of its intimidating terminology.  After clumsily writing about the line of deployment and the moment of truth I took an abrupt hiatus to rethink my approach.

  I returned with a renewed focus (no more AmMo Moments).  I re-launched by starting with the heart of the triangle - the seven principles of sound offense.  From that moment on, the one and only way to tackle the offense became obvious - take the offense piece by piece and let the understanding accumulate over time.  My original goal to simply explain the offense had failed, but I hope the fundamental nature of the offense is clearer than ever.

  Now that the NBA is devoid of a triangle team, I feel it's time for me to move on to my next project.  With that said, I'd like to announce my new site:
(My first new project will be to break down the basics of the San Antonio Spurs Motion Offense.)

Before I completely move on, I want to leave one last ultimate list of resources for anyone who may wonder how to run the triangle offense:

- The Encyclopedia of the Triangle Offense by Championship Productions:

  This 3 DVD set of a Tex Winter clinic is pricey but by far the most useful guide to the offense that I know of.  Tex shows how to implement the offense from the ground up.  He starts with the very basics: the 7 principles, proper passing technique, and proper footwork. He then goes through the entire basics of the triangle: line of deployment, moment of truth, the two passes, solos, and some breakdown drills.  The 3rd DVD comes with a hit or miss film package of the the old Jordan Bulls teams and Shaq/Frobe era Lakers running the triangle.  The clips are great and the film package shows deeper levels of the triangle, but the audio dubbing is badly timed and becomes confusing.  None the less, I highly recommend this DVD set.

- NBA Coaches Playbook:

  The chapter on the triangle, written by Phil Jackson and Tex Winter, is the clearest explanation of the offense I have come across.  I never wrote a post without referring to this book first.

- FIBA Assist Magazine:
  This also has an explanation of the triangle written by Tex Winter, but the translation is a bit off and the diagrams are terribly placed.  But hey, it's free!
Download link - File Factory

- Phil Jackson - In My Own Words:
  I believe this was filmed for Lakers season ticket holders.  Phil Jackson and his staff quickly go through the basics of the offense.  Good explanation of the moment of truth as well.

YouTube to Part 1:

Download link for entire video: - File Factory

- The Triple-Post Offense by Fred "Tex" Winter:

  Last, but certainly not least, is original bible on the offense published in 1962 by the innovator of the triangle himself, Tex Winter.  The triangle is described in painstaking detail along with diagrams for every option of the offense at that time.  Tex also writes about what he believes it takes to be a good coach complete with philosophical approaches, ideal practice schedules and advice for life in general. A lot has been added to the triangle since 1962, but a remarkable amount has remained exactly the same.  As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Also, I'd like to make the videos I've edited on the offense available for download:

A Triangle Offense Clinic:

In one game, the Lakers show almost every basic option of the offense.  This video organizes those options by two pass and the action used.

Two Pass to the Top:

This video shows some of the numerous options that result from a N.2 pass to the top.

Always in the Offense Ver 2:

A slightly cleaned up and less dramatic version of the original, this video has captions that describe the action using triangle terminology.
File Factory

 I'd like to take this time to thank the few of you who have read this blog for your continual support.  From e-mails, to YouTube comments, to Facebook to Twitter, I was constantly blown away by the willingness of complete strangers to share their passion and triangle knowledge with me.

See you at


  1. You may not have alot of consistent readers but your site has valuable information and im sure you will continue to see traffic to this site. Looking forward to stopping in here to read up on your links, new posts, etc.

  2. Tex Winters should be Wooden and recognized by others around the sports world than just basketball. I'm starting to see his strategy be employed in Hockey with increase of defensive players scoring and volleyball back court as examples. My heart felt congrats to this man and I hope he gets to read how his tactics are showing up outside of basketball. :)

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