Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Allonzo Trier began last season as an undrafted free agent. He ended it with a $7 million contract. Trier's path as a rookie was a testament to his talent and timing: the 24-year-old took advantage of the playing time he earned on a Knicks team committed to developing its young players.
This season, Trier has been mostly out of the rotation, behind a glut of guards on New York's roster.
He's appeared in 19 of the Knicks' 42 games, averaging 6.3 points per game in 12 minutes.
How has Trier handled the reduced role?
"I think he's been really professional," Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said earlier this week. "He's one of the first ones in the gym every day getting work in. You watch his body language and his excitement on the sidelines, he's into the games, he's into his team. He's been highly professional this year."
With his opportunity to impact things on the court diminished, Trier has found different ways to contribute to the team.
During games, Trier will often notice something that his teammates on the court can use as an advantage.
"I'm always out there trying to give them little tips on the floor if I see something. I say it to Mook (Marcus Morris) all the time, 'Hey, they're guarding you like this.' Me being a scorer, I can see some things on defense. And I'll just be like, 'Hey, you can maybe get to this spot right here. This is where it's open on the floor. You can get shots (here),'" Trier said recently. "And I've seen Mook be effective and score some points doing that. He'll be like, 'OK, I got you.' Or I'll say, 'Hey man, they're going to try to ice you. If you flip the screen, remember to go left and (you'll) be able to shoot a shot right from the elbow. Just little things like that.
"I'll say to Mitch (Mitchell Robinson), 'the only way (the player you're guarding) can really score is if he gets you out of position, so he's going to try to get you off of your feet first. Just things like that, trying to be a positive teammate."
Robinson appreciates Trier's insight.
"He tells me all kinds of stuff that he sees," the second-year center says.
Trier presumably would prefer to be on the court. And maybe if the Knicks trade some veterans prior to the deadline, it will open up some minutes for him.
In the meantime, Trier is committed to helping his teammates.
"It's not about me, it's about this team," he said. "Me doing my job is just to come in, work on my craft every day and try to get better at my game. And if I'm playing, do my job. Go out there, do what I do, contribute. And if I don't (play), my way of contributing has to be to cheer my teammates on, giving them little insights into what I see on the floor and just be positive…. Just try to be true to the game. That's what it's all about. Just respect the game and respect your teammates. Go out and be the best teammate you can be."