So, Trey Burke went under the knife on Tuesday -- hold up a second, I just need to involuntarily shudder at the phrase "under the knife" -- and apparently, everything went better than expected:
Trey Burke's surgery was a success, the Jazz say. Finger will be in a cast/splint for three weeks. Re-evaluated after that.
Trey Burke's surgery was a success, the Jazz say. Finger will be in a cast/splint for three weeks. Re-evaluated after that.— Aaron Falk (@tribjazz) October 15, 2013
Right. That's much more palatable than the 8-12 weeks that was originally reported.
I agree with Amar's post Tuesday night telling us to trust in Trey's convalescence and pointing out that he really won't miss that many games.
But I also feel like every missed minute is crucial. It takes time to form relationships and on-court chemistry, and while the Jazz aren't worried about winning this year, they don't have a lot of time to mess around, either. Contract renewals for the Core 4 loom ever nearer, and we need to know sooner than later if these pieces fit with Trey, and vice versa.
Anyway, all we can do at the moment is hope for the best.
Trey Burke's parents, meanwhile, are embracing their son's adopted new home:
I always like to see this. Say what you will about Utah -- and really, there's a lot to say -- but geographically speaking, the state has a lot going for it. Jalen Rose might have to rely on "importing" to have a good time in the Beehive State, but that's far from the only way to entertain yourself in the SLC. I hope Ronda and Benji continue to feel welcome here and explore the natural beauty Utah has to offer. (And if it gets too cold...well, that's what St. George is for.)
FanPosts! I know I say this all the time, but it bears repeating: If you want to share a thought or opinion about something Jazz-related, write it up in a FanPost. I can personally guarantee that I'll read it, and I do my best to feature the best ones in my Downbeats. Yes, that goes for unpopular opinions, too.
My_Lo went over a few of the Jazz's options during Trey's absence in yesterday's Downbeat, including a rather impassioned plea against calling for the team to acquire a certain Sacramento Kings player who shall remain nameless but whose name rhymes with Schmimmer Schmedette.
(I am told that if you say his name three times, he appears. Like Beetlejuice.)
Others have called for the return of last year's veteran backup Jamaal Tinsley, noting that his playmaking and distributing skills might help the Jazz's young players improve more than, say, John Lucas III: The Lucasening.
Given this discussion, socaljazzfan asks: Who would you rather have running the point in Trey Burke's absence?
Just for kicks, let's say Burke really is going to be back in 6 weeks (misses the first 10-12 games of the season), who do you want as your backup/fill-in starter? Let's say they are all available as free agents for the veteran's minimum.
Head over to his post and share your opinion.
Alternatively, Steve Moore says the answer is sitting just a bit further down the Jazz bench:
Ian Clark is the best guard on the roster. Best ball handler, sorry Trey. Best passer, sorry Scott. By far the best shooter, sorry everyone. Best defender. It is unfortunate that Mr Corbin has an agenda where winning is somewhere down on the priority list below god knows what. At some point in time he will be forced, one way or another to play him - think J Lin, only better. Lucas? Machado? Ahead of him? Are you joking? This roster is in desperate need of production and he's at end of bench behind these guys? Going to be a long season.
Next, paullywalnuts tries to get in Dennis Lindsey's head as he deals with the aftermath of the Burke injury:
So now we're stuck with JL III's "is it my turn to shoot" PG style of play. He's bounced around so much in the NBA and overseas he must be dizzy by now, but DL loves him. Really! The Jazz should just start JL III with Machado and Hudson as backup PG's, especially because Neto needs more time to steep in the highly competitive Euro leagues before he's ready for the NBA. Oh, I think that's already the game plan!
Finally, pacoelcid has a couple of fantastic statistical charts for you -- click through to check 'em out.
Great work, everybody!
Had enough point guard speculation? No? Then Salt City Hoops' own Laura Thompson has an excellent breakdown of the Jazz's internal options for you:
This season of discovery™ might be the perfect time to see how Alec Burks andGordon Hayward can utilize some of their strengths—a mix of three pointers and the ability to drive into the lane—with getting teammates involved. Both, and particularly Hayward, have shown a knack for breaking down defenses and dishing the ball out. Hayward is currently leading the team in assists per game at 4.7, and Burks has been third on the team at 2.7.
I admit, I'm most excited to see Alec Burks get a chance to run the point myself. He's obviously not a pure point guard, but he is a creator -- maybe not in the passing sense, but he finds open spaces for himself, and that can lead to openings for others.
At the very least, Burks is another scoring threat that teams have to respect. In Trey Burke's absence, that might be enough.
New SL Trib beat writer Aaron Falk (who, may I just say in passing, is a terrific writer and an old friend from my journo days) has a really interesting piece on the fringe players on the Jazz training camp roster.
Fighting for a spot on a team is something I think everyone can relate to -- the drive to prove yourself, to achieve your dream, to accomplish your goals. We may not be NBA-caliber ballers, but we all have those same desires.
It reminds me of one of my favorite articles from my childhood days reading Sports Illustrated, about the basketball team tryouts at NBAer Richard Hamilton's old high school in Pennsylvania:
Intramurals run from late September through October and into November, three evenings a week of demanding drills and scrimmages. Official try-outs start Monday, Nov. 11, and two days later Scoogy will pick his team. Some boys, like the hapless sprinter in the first suicides, will do him a favor and cut themselves. They will fall on their faces or simply size up the competition and go home. But most of the others who show up are infected with the dream. Each can see his career as a glorious progression from playground to state championship to NCAA Final Four to...the NBA! And the only obstacle to this megabucks, slam-dunk future is one man with a whistle.
Do yourself a favor and make time to read the whole thing. It helps put things in perspective for us fans. It helps to explain why Trey Burke will push himself to return as quickly as he possibly can. And it helps to illustrate the effort most of us never see when our team loses by 30 points -- that each player is human, and has gone through a tremendous personal sacrifice to earn the J-note on their chest.
I hope they're as proud to wear it as I am to watch.