Rising to a challenge no one expected you to meet is never an easy task. For 22-year-old Allonzo Trier, nothing was easier.
The New York Knicks signed Trier to a two-way contract prior to the regular season with the intentions of testing his resilience, a test he passed with flying colors. After going undrafted out of the University of Arizona, Trier has become a key cog to the Knicks’ system as they try to ignite a fast, but efficient team rebuild.
On Dec. 13, the Knicks released Ron Baker, who was swiftly phased out of the rotation this season, in order to sign Trier to two-year, $7 million contract with a team option on the second year. This contract is an exceptional step in the direction of growth for Knicks brass. Knicks fans will more than welcome Trier with open arms now that he’s committed long-term to the organization.
An admirable skill set
Trier is able to keep the crowd’s attention because he carriers a skill set comparable to isolation-heavy players such as Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Before everyone loses their minds, I would like to clarify that he is in no way close to performing to their standards. No matter, he has clearly exhibited traits similar to those two players and then some.
Trier frequently visits this move, as its one of the strongest moves he has in his arsenal. The crossover throws the defender off balance, and just when they think they’ve recovered enough to prevent the shot, Trier stops on a dime off the dribble for the pull-up jumper. He executes the move a little slowly, likely because he’s still not used to playing at an NBA pace. It’s a skill he can hone in the coming seasons. Trier attempts 19.2 percent of his shots from this range, sinking 43 percent of those attempts.
Irving executes his shot from about the same distance here, though much faster, less contested and in a different manner. Nonetheless, the elements of the shot attempt are similar. Honestly, you can see for yourself how natural this move is for both players.
Aside from his smooth handles and off the dribble shooting, Trier has truly excelled at the rim. From zero to three feet away from the basket, Trier shoots 62.8 percent on shots made while attempting 39.3 percents of his shots from this distance.
This is only a small example of Trier’s craftiness and ability to get to the rim with ease. He’s expected to make uncontested layups, so completing his attempt here off the crisp spin move isn’t the best example of how he keeps his success rate so high. Trier has a plethora of moves and fakes that allow him to reach the rim with ease, and he displays innovation each and every game.
Being 6-foot-5 helps too, I guess.
A light in the darkness
In just under a decade of missing playoffs, the Knicks haven’t been able to muster a good run. Even after the drafting of Kristaps Porzingis, they remain without a winning record and continue to gather youthful prospects in hopes to right the ship.
Trier has been a pleasant surprise in his 27 games with the Knicks. He is averaging 11.3 points, 1.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds with a slash line of .470/.391/.816, all in 23.3 minutes per game.
With the upside Trier brings, and the motivation to continue his growing process, the Knicks have made one of the smartest decisions in years signing him long-term.
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