Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trey Burke Summer League - Game 2

Were you to only look at the box score, Trey Burke would've appeared to have another bad game in the NBA Summer League. Burke's Jazz lost by 14 points to the Houston Rockets, and Burke didn't have the rosiest stat line: 11 points on 5-15 shooting, 1-6 3FG, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers. But Burke's struggles were not as pronounced as those numbers might indicate. A few of his missed field goal attempts were on putbacks/tips where he had no business being in the lane. And I also unofficially counted three open looks that should've been assists had his teammates hit open shots or finished alley-oops (no, really, a dude bricked a perfectly executed alley-oop from Burke). Certainly a better performance in game two, but still not the high-caliber outing Michigan fans grew accustomed to. Here are a few assorted thoughts:
  • Burke's off-the-ball movement in this game was abysmal. Once Burke passed the ball, he became a non-factor in the offense. This resulted in a lot of stagnation on offense and empty trips. Burke took a lot of shots at the end of the shot clock at Michigan. His ability to create his own shot was a major reason for this, but just as significantly, once Burke passed the ball, he would often stand 5 feet beyond the top of the arc, acting as an outlet. In yesterday's game, Burke would pass the ball and stand at the top of the key or use a few baseline screens only to end at the top of the key again. NBA defenses are too fast and recover too well for Burke to continue being a non-factor without the ball.

    Conversely, Burke was an entirely different player when he brought the ball up the court and attacked immediately. When he made a move early in the possession, he was able to draw help defenders and find his teammates for easy looks. But he rarely attacked this way and the Jazz struggled to get into an offensive rhythm.
  • Trey's defense was pretty bad in this game. He got picked off badly a number of times, forcing the Jazz to provide significant help defense, opening shots up for other Rockets players. He also got lost a few times in traffic, allowing wide open looks.
  • After struggling with the size of the Miami Heat inside in game one, Trey avoided shots in the paint for most of the game. Six of his 15 shots were from outside and most of his other looks were long two pointers and runners from the free throw line. I don't remember him making any of those runners, but that's a shot he'll need to improve significantly if he wants to attack the lane in the future.
This was an uneventful game for Burke. He failed to get to the free throw line because of a reticence to enter the lane. His defense was lacking, but that's not unprecedented. Burke is pretty far behind his contemporaries defensively simply because he hasn't played in an NBA defense before. More or less, Burke is progressing about as you'd expect albeit without the flare that many had hoped for.


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