In just 11 minutes of play in his first NBA regular season action, Trey Burke scored 12 points, with 1 assist, 1 rebound 0 turnovers in the Jazz 105-98 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The anticipation for Burke to finally hit the court couldn’t have been any higher as the Jazz fans have had little to nothing positive going for them this season. Wednesday when Burke came in he impressed showing smooth and smart play.
On his second touch of the game Burke took the ball up the court in transition and took the ball right to the cup for a great lay in despite good help defense from Anthony Davis who had a monster game at 22 points 9 rebounds and 8 blocks. He followed up with a somewhat identical play shortly after.
One thing that Burke showed that was exhibited by a player wearing a Jazz uniform for the first time this year was comfortabilty and smooth play. Burke looked relaxed and confident, a big difference from the usual frantic play of wild shots and turnovers that the Jazz back court has been associated with. The Jazz much of the season have looked just out muscled and out smarted, struggling to even go a possession without having a pass tipped, and it was refreshing to see something different with Burke on the court.
Not only was it impressive he got to double digits in scoring in just 11 minutes of playing, but he had no turnovers also. Despite only having one assist it’s hard to blame him when Gordon Hayward goes 1-17 for the worst shooting performance in Jazz history.
Along with Burke Jeremy Evans returned from injury for his season debut, going 4-4 for 8 points and 1 rebound and 1 assist.
Corbin played Burke a questionable amount of minutes as fresh d-leauge bring up Diante Garret had 20 minutes. Coming off of an injury such as a broken finger is not something a player necessarily needs to get gently eased back into one would think, but such a decision is excusable.
What was inexcusable was the number of minutes given to Rudy Gobert in the loss, 0. Why not throw in your biggest body in when Anthony Davis is swatting everything in sight?
Without Burke entering Wednesday was just like any other game for the Jazz, sloppy play with many turnovers, ill advised shots all around and overall poor, out matched play. At least with Burke he did enough to give Jazz fans some promise. What he can provide might just be enough to lift the Jazz in a close games to come later in the season, something they currently have no ability to do without him.
Alec Burks has done OK as a scorer but he can only hit so many circus shots and he’s not reliable night in and night out, which showed against the Pelicans with a -15 player efficiency rating. Burke is a true talent, and will add some relief to this unbearable Jazz season that is upon us.
The Jazz sit at 1-12 and face Dallas and Oklahoma City on the road next.