BROOKLYN – Through three regular season games, Alec Burks led the Utah Jazz in points per game (18.0), two-point field goal percentage among players who took at least one shot per game (57.6), offensive rating (107), win shares, win shares per 48 minutes (.131) and PER (19.2).
Sounds like someone who should start for a rebuilding team like the Jazz, no? Yet the 12th overall in the 2011 draft has yet to start a game in his NBA career.
“He’s deserved to start for us, but right now he could help us coming off the bench and give us some bench scoring,” Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. “He’s continuing to grow. He’s been a great guy, his game is growing. He’s worked his butt off for us all summer to continue to grow his game. He’ll play a lot of minutes for us.”
After Burks averaged just under 18 minutes per game last season, Corbin has rewarded his work with a bump in playing time. The 22-year-old Burks is now playing a solid 30 minutes a game. Although Utah hasn’t had success as a team, Burks’ work is paying off, and he credited his assertiveness for his fast start.
“I’m just being aggressive,” Burks told Sheridan Hoops. “Shots happen to fall. It’s been good.”
The 6-6 Grandview, Missouri native was extremely soft-spoken, almost to the point of being shy, but he has already gained the respect and admiration of his teammates.
“He’s been playing brilliant,” said veteran guard Brandon Rush. “Just attacking, attacking.”
“He’s playing really well right now,” rookie reserve Ian Clark said. “He’s stepping up, playing a big role for us on this team both offensively and defensively. He can guard with his size, and his offensive ability is really helping us down the stretch in the games.”
The problem is that Utah hasn’t won any of those games, and it only got worse on Tuesday night. The Jazz were overmatched by the Nets on the defensive end and were sloppy on offense in a 104-88 loss that exploited Burks’ greatest weakness.