New York Knicks Allonzo Trier
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier is shining early in his New York Knicks career and his offensive repertoire includes this ankle-breaking move.

Allonzo Trier is one of the early season surprises for David Fizdale and the New York Knicks. The undrafted rookie is playing with a chip on his shoulder the size of Manhattan. Trier turned in another great performance off the bench with 16 points on nine shots.

But he truly stole the show when he sent his defender, Kent Bazemore, flying all the way to the baseline before nailing a clutch basket to give the Knicks some breathing room late in the fourth quarter. This behind-the-back dribble was enough to buckle Bazemore’s knees.

Not only was this shot pretty, but it came at a time when the Knicks needed a bucket most. After taking a commanding lead in the third quarter, the Knicks were floundering late. They are still struggling with execution late in games. This is typical for young teams, but the Knicks didn’t let this one slip from their grasp.

Tim Hardaway Jr. was a rock in his return from a back injury that kept him out of Monday’s action. He poured in 30 points and fought through a night where he clearly didn’t feel completely comfortable. He was only 2-for-11 from deep and he struggled to find consistency in his shot.

But Hardaway showed his maturity by getting to the line 20 times and converting on 16 of those attempts. He even mentioned in a postgame interview that he needs to get back in the gym to make sure he’s improving that percentage. He’s growing into himself in front of everyone’s eyes.

Frank Ntilikina was absent from the court when Trier sent Bazemore gliding across the hardwood. His performance was an enigma in itself. He had a couple ugly misses on his shots, but overall he did well on offense. He was 5-for-10 shooting, 2-for-4 from three-point range, and finished with 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists. He was aggressive and probing with his dribble.

He also played exceptional defense on Trae Young, playing a huge part in Young’s rough night. Despite finishing with 15 points, Young was held to 6-for-19 shooting from the floor. Although Ntilikina was a complete pest on defense, he couldn’t help himself from fouling and picked up his sixth foul in the fourth quarter.

But even with Ntilikina’s disqualification, the Knicks were able to salt the game away late. A win over the lowly Hawks in November is a small achievement — but it’s an achievement nonetheless.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.