Alec Burks had a career night last night. 34 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds against a Denver Nuggets team that came in red hot on a 5 game winning streak. The Jazz were missing their leading scorer Gordon Hayward due to injury and Marvin Williams was playing the game with the flu. The Jazz had no business being in that game, but Burks took over. In the words of my co-worker who is in his mid-70′s, Burks was “hotter than a fire cracker.”
The things that Alec can bring to the court are unlike any other Jazz player. Trey Burke is great at facilitating the offense and scoring. Gordon is a great first option in an offense and is putting up fantastic numbers this season. Derrick Favors is a beast down low and can hang with the best big men in the league. Alec, when he has the ball in his hand, 9 times out of 10, can be something special. He made so many acrobatic layups and shots last night that you would think have no chance of going in, but somehow, someway, he ALWAYS seems to get them to fall. Here are his highlights from last night.
As the starter, in 5 games, he has upped his averages to 14.4 points and 3.6 assists per game, while upping his shooting averages to 44.1% from the field and 85% from the free throw line. Alec is fantastic when he gets on the court and gets the minutes. Last night proved that. According to the stats too, the best +/- point differential lineups for the Jazz this season have Burks and Hayward on the floor together.
Richard Jefferson has been a nice surprise this season. He is shooting the ball well for the Jazz. However, he is one of the most inconsistent scorers on the team. They have put him in the starting lineup to be a mentor to the younger guys that are starting with him. From what I have seen recently, Trey, Gordon, and Derrick don’t need much help anymore.
In my opinion, the Jazz need to look like this from here on out:
PG – Trey Burke
SG – Alec Burks
SF – Gordon Hayward
PF – Marvin Williams
C – Derrick Favors
PG – Diante Garrett
SG – Brandon Rush
SF – Richard Jefferson
PF – Jeremy Evans
C – Enes Kanter
This rotation to me gives the Jazz the best opportunity to win games. Alec Burks is a magician with the ball in his hands. With him, Trey, and Gordon on the court together, the defense has to figure out how to stop all 3 of them and that is a tough thing to do. When all these guys are out there, it opens everything up and the defense has a tough time stopping them. When they open things up, Favors becomes another problem for defenses to worry about. Then add in Marvin who is spreading the floor with his “stretch 4″ mentality, and now the Jazz have an offense that is going to give defenses a lot of headaches.
I’m not a coach, but to me, Alec Burks starting is something that needs to happen, and now!