New York Knicks: How does Allonzo Trier fit in the new lineup?

Allonzo Trier, New York Knicks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Allonzo Trier, New York Knicks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks added many new players through free agency and the draft, another crucial offseason move was bringing back Allonzo Trier. Despite the contract guarantee, it’s going to be tough for the young guard to find minutes in what looks to be a crowded rotation.

Allonzo Trier put many fans and analysts alike on notice during his rookie season after going undrafted in 2018. He finished with respectable averages of 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 45% from the floor and 39% from three. Although there were many things to like about his first year, an influx of offseason talent joining the New York Knicks is going to challenge Trier for a spot in the rotation. The question remains, what can he do to stand out?

Continue to Attack the Paint

The 23-year old was unafraid of crashing into the paint and finishing strong, which is an extremely encouraging sign because most rookies tend to shy away from contact. He demonstrated this aspect of his play on day 1, throwing down a massive dunk against the Atlanta Hawks in the first game of the season.

His ability to get to the line and convert was another welcome sign, taking 3.5 free throw attempts per game and hitting 80% of his shots at the charity stripe. If he can manage to draw fouls at an even higher rate this upcoming season, then he could easily play himself into more rotation minutes.

Improve Court Vision

Trier struggled at times with his playmaking, opting for a contested jumper instead of finding teammates that were sometimes wide open. His tunnel vision was amplified in fast break situations, where the young guard would almost always take the ball to the rim no matter how many defenders were in his way.

His assists per game were somewhat passable at 1.9, but not when you factor in his disappointing 1.8 turnovers per game. Trier’s vast array of dribble moves and impressive ability to create his offense, the former Arizona product would be an offensive beast if he sharpened his passing game.

His unwillingness to pass to teammates behind the arc last season could also have been a calculated choice by the former rookie, as the Knicks finished 28th in the NBA in 3 point percentage in 2018. The addition of sharpshooting new teammates like Wayne Ellington, Reggie Bullock,  and Bobby Portis should result in higher assist numbers for the man nicknamed “Iso Zo.”

Extend his Game Behind the Arc

For Allonzo Trier to get minutes over the veteran free-agent additions, he’s going to need to show even more improvement in his scoring. As stated earlier, scoring in the paint is crucial. Another way he improves this as well as his entire offensive arsenal is by extending his play to beyond the three-point line.

The young guard dazzled Knicks fans with the ability to hit step-back jump shots almost every game, which he usually took from just inside the arc. It would be huge for both Trier and the Knicks team as a whole if he could extend these twos into threes, which he already showed glimpses of last season.

His three-point shot is already above-average, and if he can continue to maintain his accuracy while increasing the volume of his attempts, then he could already become one of the best sixth men in the league.

Continue Putting People on Notice

Despite only playing in one summer league game this offseason, Allonzo Trier already showed a ton of improvement. Against the New Orleans Pelicans and Zion Williamson, Trier finished with 21 points and five rebounds on 57% shooting from the field and 75% from three. Most importantly, he had four assists compared to just one turnover.

While one summer league game isn’t an indication that all of his struggles as a player are completely gone, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Trier’s game is eerily reminiscent of top 6th men like Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford and James Harden when he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Allonzo Trier has been underrated for his entire career, so the increase in adversity should only add fuel to his fire going into year 2.