Utah Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke has led a revival of sorts in Utah. The team has improved as a whole and wins are coming more frequently. The Jazz are not a very good basketball team, as their 6-21 record indicates, but Utah is a much better team with Trey Burke running the point. Trey missed the first 12 games of the season recovering from a broken finger. During that time, the Jazz went 1-11. This makes Utah’s record with Trey 5-10. Fifteen games into his career, it’s worth taking a look at Trey’s impact, and what it has meant to a struggling Jazz team.
Trey’s return has had a very direct impact on certain players, specifically Alec Burks and Derrick Favors. As two of Utah’s most important long term pieces, their improvement is one of the primary goals of this season.
During the first 11 games without Trey, Alec Burks was struggling mightily. During this time, Burks’ eFG% was only 38 percent, brought down significantly by shooting less than 22 percent from 3. Burks was scoring an inefficient 11.5 points per game. During this time, it was hard to see what benefit Alec’s 27 minutes a night had on the Jazz. Many Jazz fans were wondering whether Alec had a future in the NBA at all. Then Trey returned.
In nearly identical minutes per game, shot attempts, and three point shot attempts, Alec Burks has somehow flipped a switch now that Trey is back. His eFG% is now all the way up to 52.5 percent. He’s shooting 49 percent from the field overall, and 44 percent from three, averaging 14 points per game.
Trey’s impact on Alec may be best summarized by Monday night’s game against the Miami Heat. In a game that Trey struggled to make a direct impact himself, his mere presence on the court was enough to distract Miami from Burks. Alec had a career night, scoring 31 points on over 70 percent from the field, and added seven assists. Burke’s presence opens things up on the offensive end, both directly and indirectly allowing others to shine.
Derrick was not quite in the same boat as Burks in regards to his struggles at the beginning of the season. In fact, Favors was playing fairly well offensively. Always known for his defense, Favors had been demonstrating a bit of polish to his offensive game. Favors’ 48 percent from the field wasn’t awful, but with a very large percentage of those shots coming at the rim, there was room for improvement.
Again, Trey came to the rescue. Riding in on a stallion made of ball handling skills and pick-and-roll prowess, Burke has helped get Favors the ball in more effective positions to score. in the 15 games that Burke has been back, Favors’ FG% has shot up dramatically to 59 percent. Equally as dramatic is that Favor’s offensive rating in the first 11 games of the season was a low 89, compared to 106 since Trey has been back.
Trey’s impact on the team as a whole has been undeniable. Utah went from shooting 41 percent from the field, to 45 percent. From shooting 29 percent from 3, to 37.5 percent. The team is even shooting free throws better, going from 71 percent to 78 percent. This all adds up to a True Shooting percentage increase of 48 percent to 53.
Utah’s Assist Ratio is up from 14 to 17, and Turn Over Ratio is down from 19 to 14.5.
Though Utah’s defense is now actually worse (not an easy thing to accomplish), the Offensive Rating is up from 92 to 103.
The bottom line, illustrated by an increase in win percentage from 8 percent to 33 percent, is that The Jazz are winning more games with Trey Burke than they were beforehand.