Yesterday when the news broke that the Utah Jazz starting line up did not include Alec Burks, the twitter world erupted. Frankly I wasn’t very happy with the news when I first heard it either. This team has 5 young players, when 4 of the 5 are in the starting line up I was worried it would hurt Alec Burks confidence. The last thing the Jazz need is a player that they will NEED to contribute this season to check out mentally and not give his complete effort. If last night was any indication on how Alec Burks is going to perform for the Jazz this season, than Corbin has absolutely made the correct move by bringing Burks off the bench.
Last night against the Warriors Alec Burks shot 6-10, 14 points 3 rebounds and 4 assists and a plus/minus at +21 in only 22 minutes on the floor. He also would have led the team in scoring if it wasn’t for a terrible offensive foul call in which Alec scored and was actually the one who got fouled. That kind of production off the bench will be more important to this teams success this season than anything else. This team’s starting line up will hold its own against the league and with out a doubt post better numbers than last season’s starting line up (see the numbers from last year’s starting line up here). The doubt has been the depth that this team has and what would happen if one of our starters goes down for a long period of time. Last night showed us that we may be more deep then we originally thought, especially if Alec Burks carries the scoring load off the bench.
It seems as though Alec isn’t against the idea of coming off the bench either. This morning I asked David Locke what his thoughts were on Alec Burks being the 6th man for this team. Locke’s answer surprised me a bit. I’ve posted the video for tip-off below. My question starts at about 25:30 into the video.
David Locke believes that it will help his confidence coming off the bench and being the main guy. He’s quoted saying “I think it will help his confidence, I think he loved it”. Locke also points out that he believes it would kill his confidence more if he was in the starting line up and battling Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward for possessions. If Alec comes off the bench for this team he WILL be the go to guy, the ball will be in his hands a lot and he will get all the opportunities he wants to score the ball. It seems that Corbin and Lindsey may know their team better than we do as fans. Who woulda thought???
It’s hard to judge this team on a preseason game where the opponent has played 3 games in 4 nights. The motivation for the Warriors wasn’t there and being a preseason game there was no reason for them to fight or play hard to get back into the game. Still the Jazz showed up to play and even though we can’t take much away from the game itself, I think it’s fair to take away things we saw out of the players themselves. Burks was definitely a stand out in the game along with most of the bench, which leads me to believe we’re a much deeper team than expected. With Burks leading that second unit it’s hard for me to see this team winning under the 27.5 wins that Vegas projects the Jazz winning this season.