After finishing up his college career at Arizona, Allonzo Trier entered the draft process like many other rookies around college basketball in hopes of a team drafting them. Trier attended workouts across the NBA, including one with the Dallas Mavericks.
But, as we all know, Trier went undrafted. The Knicks, though, gave him a chance, and he certainly made the best of it by landing a spot on the NBA roster to start the season.
So, in Dallas on Friday night, Trier did exactly what he has been since Opening Night at The Garden: Make teams regret not calling his name back in June.
Trier's performance against the Mavericks was his best so far in his early career. He poured home a career-high 23 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, on a very efficient 8-of-10 shooting over 24 minutes off the bench.
Knicks head coach David Fizdale has been impressed by what Trier has brought to the table since preseason, and after his showing last night, he thinks it best to keep him on the floor during critical minutes, too.
"When it's crunch time, I'm going to have to have him in more often than not down the stretch," Fizdale told The Post's Marc Berman after the win. "I didn't want to risk any passes. I figured let dribble the clocks down and let him do what he does."
Trier has the special confidence and skill to take a man one-on-one and find some way to get the ball in the hoop. Those isolation plays, which Fizdale is referring to when he says "let him do what he does," is why he is affectionately known as "Iso Zo."
Just watch this play against Mavericks 2017 first-rounder Dennis Smith Jr....
The Knicks were going against another highly-touted rookie in Luka Doncic, but it was Trier who stole the show when it came to neophytes. Doncic had only eight points through three quarters, while Trier was consistent throughout the night.
"I had to go out and make good basketball plays and be aggressive," Trier said. "I had one guy in front of me and put pressure on the defense. I'm not trying to prove anything. I'm trying to help this team win games on the road."
It may not be his intention, but Trier is proving that he is worth a regular NBA contract instead of the two-way deal he is currently on. While Doncic leads all NBA rookies with 19.4 points per game, Trier is a little further down the list, tied seventh with 10.8 points per game. He is shooting 53.1 percent from the field as well.
And these stats are being produced in a bench role, making them even more impressive. If Trier can keep up this level of play, he will not only continue to make NBA GMs around the league rue not selecting him, but his role with the Knicks will continue to grow, too.