New York fell Monday evening to the Wizards 110-98 despite another impressive showing from undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier.

Tonight’s Knicks performance was rocky to say the least. Some encouraging flashes of brilliance were largely overshadowed by subpar defense, carelessness with the basketball, and questionable shot selection. New York turned the ball over 21 times and shot only 8-of-26 from behind the arc (per ESPN)—not a good formula for winning basketball games.

Despite the unimpressive showing from the Knicks, it is still preseason and these games are meant to allow them to work out the kinks and growing pains and become more of a cohesive unit.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Allonzo Trier led the team with 18 points a piece, while Frank Ntilikina chipped in 10 points as the second-year Frenchman started at point guard, much to the excitement of Knicks fans. Ntilikina looked confident offensively in his 18 minutes of play and has already showed signs of improvement from last year’s campaign. On the negative side, ninth overall selection Kevin Knox struggled again, only making two field goals in 30 minutes of game action. Defensively, the Knicks were unable to slow down the vaunted Wizards backcourt of Bradley Beal (20 points) and John Wall (14 points, nine assists, and six rebounds). Washington was also +10 in the rebounding margin with New York’s big men Enes Kanter and Mitchell Robinson sitting out and were able to control the tempo en route to a relatively easy victory for the D.C. squad.

Iso Zo Balls Out

One major bright spot in an otherwise below-average night at the Garden was the play of Allonzo Trier. Trier was awesome again as he scored efficiently and even dished out four assists, including the delicious dime you can see below. Not much was expected of Allonzo coming out of the University of Arizona as an undrafted free agent, but he seems to be a hidden gem of a find so far for the orange and blue.

Through four games, Trier leads the Knicks in total points and is making a strong case for himself to get some meaningful playing time this year. One of the knocks on “Iso Zo” coming out of college was that he was inefficient, inconsistent, and sometimes tried to do too much with the ball. Although it’s a small sample size, we’ve seen the 22-year-old shoot the ball effectively and intelligently and limit the amount of turnovers. Trier has been playing with a chip on his shoulder, as he believed he was worthy of being selected in this past year’s draft, and it has been paying huge dividends for the Knicks thus far.

Knox Struggles

As I mentioned before, Kevin Knox did not perform well for a second consecutive, only kicking in nine points and turning the ball over five times, making that 10 cough ups in his last two games. We all know Knox is raw and needs to vastly improve his offensive assertiveness and consistency but first he must try to play more within himself and stop “trying to be perfect and trying to please everybody and do everything right” said Coach Fizdale in his post game presser.

Seemingly when Knox didn’t have the ball in his hands and wasn’t shooting the rock, he wasn’t doing much else to help the cause (moving without the ball and set screens, for example). For Knox, it’s about getting more accustomed to the pace of an NBA game, which will come with time; he’ll take advantage of his strengths, like the baseline floater he has seemed to fell in love with, in due time. The talent is there and very few people would question that, so I am not worried too much about his early struggles.

New York is back in action Friday at home against the Brooklyn Nets to close out the preseason.