Analysts have said that the third year is crucial to see if a player can make a jump to the next level. Alec Burks I feel has made that jump and here’s the breakdown by month to show the progress. (Stats courtesy of ESPN.com)
November: 10.1 points, 2.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 37% shooting, 26% 3-pt, 26.1 minutes
November was a tough month for Alec and questions arose whether the 3rd year guard was part of the future of this team. He didn’t look comfortable in his play and Corbin didn’t seem to know what to do with him.
December: 14.2 points, 2.9 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 49% shooting, 45% 3-pt, 27.8 minutes
With Trey and Marvin back from injuries the floor opened up and Alec took advantage. This was the best month Alec has ever shot and it was crucial for Corbin to see this as it lead to the way he let Burks play in the next couple months.
January: 15.7 points, 3.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 47% shooting, 37% 3-pt, 29.8 minutes
This is the month we can look back to in Alec’s career and say “they finally let him play his way.” Giving Alec the ball and letting him go baseline instead of to the middle changed everything. Alec has since looked a lot more like James Harden or Dwayne Wade and less like Ronnie Brewer.
February: 15.3 points, 1.9 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 44% shooting, 33% 3-pt, 26 minutes
Alec kept his points up while playing almost 4 minutes less. The problem in February was two-fold. One, the defenses started playing Alec different and not letting him get to the hole as easy. The second, Alec decided to look away from passing and looked very much like the typical ball hog that forgets how to pass.
March: 14 points, 4.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 41% shooting, 40% 3-pt, 35 minutes
It’s only been 3 games but he is taking a page out of Hayward’s book and filling up the stat sheet. If Burks can continue to feed his teammates the lane’s will again open up for Burks to get to the rim at will.
I believe in Alec and I believe that he can be an all-star player. He has the athletic ability and also the ability to draw fouls (almost 6 free throws a game) that is required from an elite player. I’m not saying Alec will ever get to the point of being elite but his progress shows he is on the right track.