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Alec Burks- Breakout Year

Apr 3, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) goes up for a dunk during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at EnergySolutions Arena. The Nuggets won 113-96. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Burks, if things stand as are, will get to start this next season and get heavy minutes with the other young guys.  Like Enes, Alec played exceptionally well in the minutes he was given last year at shooting guard and even at point guard.  Last year in 17 minutes a game Alec averaged 7 points 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists.  I know those numbers aren’t eye popping but average those up to 36 minutes a game and you get a respectable 14.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

Those numbers I even think are low as Burks is gonna be a lot more aggressive this year knowing that he has to perform as the starter.  As we’ve seen in the Orlando Summer League, Burks has taken over and looks poised to start this next year.  The numbers are also low as the first half of last season Burks wasn’t performing when he had time on the floor.  Post all star break he was averaging 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 18 minutes per game.  Not a huge jump but it still shows he played better post all star break.

Things that stood out last year was his ability to hit the three when Al passed out of a double team.  From the center and right side of the court Burks shot 17-41 from three or 41.4%.  His mid range game was also impressive and seems to be getting better the more time he gets.  At the rim he is better than almost anyone in the NBA as he has an array of layups that seem near impossible but find their way in.

As you can see from the chart above, Alec really needs to improve on the left side of the court as he is below average in shooting from many of those spots.  For Alec to really breakout this year though he needs to have the mindset to attack constantly.  When he wants to he gets to the rim almost at will and is better than anyone on the Jazz at drawing the contact and still being able to finish.  Mix that with a new point guard in Trey Burke who can also drive and the floor will get a lot more open for the entire team.

The other thing that impresses me about all the young guys is their tenacity on the defensive end.  This year I expect us to me much better as Al, Sap and Mo are all gone. If you can recall the game against the Clippers where Jamal Crawford ran through pick after pick and Alec stayed with him.  The talent and desire on defense should keep Alec as a starter for his career as most shooting guards are lacking in that area.

The player that Alec reminds me the most of in the NBA right now is DeMar DeRozan from Toronto.  They are both slashers that can get to the hoop and aren’t known for their shooting.  Alec shoots the three ball much better than DeMar which is a good sign that Alec should end up being the better player as the rest of their stats per 36 are very similar.

Alec Burks per 36: 14.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 42% field goal, 35% three, 71% free throw

DeMar DeRozan per 36: 17.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 44% field goal, 28% three, 84% free throw

If you just look at those numbers the thing that stands out to me is Alec’s poor free throw shooting.  If he can fix that (in the summer league he has been awful), then expect him to match DeRozan’s 17 points a game.  The other thing that stands out is his above average ability to rebound for a shooting guard.  Almost 5 a game is something the Jazz will rely on if they want to be in games.  Check out this video of Alec and try telling me he isn’t gonna breakout this year.

Topics: Alec Burks, Utah Jazz

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