The New York Knicks were a mess this season, using strange variations of their roster to find successful combinations.
There were times early on in the 2019-20 season that Knicks’ former head coach David Fizdale started RJ Barrett at the point guard position and others where he featured Elfrid Payton. All of these combinations essentially put Allonzo Trier in a bind, forcing him to the bench and cutting his playing time in half from his rookie campaign. All of his statistical totals took a major hit with Fizdale operating as the head coach, and he attempted to give an explanation, according to the NY Post.
“RJ at the point opening night was to try to get Zo on the court more,’’ Fizdale told The Post. “But ultimately we needed Elfrid [Payton] on the court to manage the team. It was more about the glut than [Trier].
The backcourt for the Knicks was completely overwhelmed with options and Trier ultimately was left behind, playing in just 24 of 66 games this stalled campaign.
“Zo is an offensive talent who was improving at sharing the ball,’’ Fizdale said. “His position was deep — [Wayne] Ellington, [RJ] Barrett, [Damyean] Dotson, [Reggie] Bullock and some Frank [Ntilikina]. That’s six guys, counting Zo, that needed minutes at the shooting-guard position. How do you get him quality minutes?”
As a three-point specialist, Trier was in a long line to earn reps, and he could benefit next season with a new head coach and fewer competitors to deal with. He’s a solid sixth-man with a tenacious defensive approach and quality isolation move. His shooting prowess is what made him an exciting young prospect for the Knicks, coming into the NBA as an undrafted player out of Arizona.
His mistakes were relatively minor and fixable, Fizdale expressed, which is a great sign for a team in need of elevated talent and growth.