The Downbeat #1213: ALL HAIL THE POINT GUARD Edition

A point guard, a point guard, our tanking for a point guard! - Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Burke is KING.

Before I get this downbeat started I have to say, "Thank You" to everyone last week who wished me good luck on my GMAT.  Thank you to Clark for filling in for me while I was away as well.  I always feel like I'm part of a big Jazz family even though I live far away from most Utah fans.  Thank you all so much.

The great Zach Lowe dropped a great post this week detailing how a number of second, third, and fourth year players need to make the next leap to justify their place in the league.  He listed Jonas Valanciunas, Ricky Rubio, Iman Shumpert, Gordon Hayward, and Enes Kanter.  For the purposes of this downbeat we're going to focus on Enes Kanter since he has been recording less time on the court by the game and has been relegated to bench.

This is not going well. The Jazz have scored just 84.2 points per 100 possessions with both Kanter and Derrick Favors on the floor, a mark so unthinkably awful that Tyrone Corbin had to swap Kanter out of the starting lineup in favor of the stretchier Williams. That's OK for now, but Utah has a lot riding on the Kanter-Favors duo. They've appeared in just one of four games since the lineup switch, for a total of nine minutes. Kanter's minutes have been down significantly of late.

Neither Utah big is a reliable midrange shooter who requires much respect from defenses, and the Jazz struggled to mesh Favors's pick-and-roll game with Kanter's post bullying - especially since Favors is also showing an improved post-up arsenal.

Kanter's free throw attempts are down, and he's threatening to become a DeJuan Blair-type rebounder - a guy who kills the offensive glass and vanishes on the other end. He's rebounding just 15.6 percent of opponent misses, a terrible mark for a big man, one that verges into the Andrea Bargnani Zone.5

Kanter has been a bit of a mess defensively. Corbin often has him jumping out hard on pick-and-rolls, and Kanter just doesn't seem equipped to handle that kind of movement. He has a bad combination of lumbering speed and happy feet that creates all kinds of positioning blunders.

There's a good NBA player here, especially on offense. I hope we see more of him this season.

For more on Gordon Hayward go here.

Enes Kanter is struggling.  He recently only was on the court for 12 minutes last night.  Twelve.  That's it.  He recorded as many turnovers as points last night: 3.  I honestly don't believe moving Kanter to the bench is going to help in his ability to be able to play with Derrick Favors.  Not with the way Tyrone Corbin is utilizing him.  Kanter is regressing.  He's not taking this step back to the bench as a learning opportunity.  It may have worked for other players but Kanter is taking it as a demotion.

The job as a coach, manager, and leader is to realize that employees react differently to different methods.  While Gordon came out with vengeance when he was relegated to the bench last season, Kanter is not the same type of person.  If anything, Kanter needs to be able to play more minutes with Trey Burke to help him feel part of the team, rather than separating him.

So Trey Burke is good, y'all.

Here are Trey Burke's PER 36 stats.


Here are Trey's Advanced Stats:

Here are the stats from Trey Burke's last 4 starts in which he has averaged more than 25 minutes per game.


The Utah Jazz are now 3-0 when Trey Burke plays more than 30 minutes a game.

It's amazing what happens when you have a capable point guard.  I have a feeling the Utah Jazz might drop in the ESPN.com Tank Rank after this win streak.  Chad Ford writes:

Two wins this week against the Bulls and Suns have pushed the Jazz down a spot. Interestingly, it's been a 27-year-old veteran, Marvin Williams, who has helped fuel the Jazz's victories. He's posting the second-highest PER and the highest true shooting percentage of his career.

Of course, given the Jazz's long-term goals and Williams' attractive expiring contract, that just means Williams might have increased his trade value.

Never fear, Tank enthusiasts, the Portland Trailblazers and the Indiana Pacers are on the horizon.  The Jazz's foray into a win streak most likely will be short lived.  BUT MAN HAS IT BEEN SO MUCH FUN!

Marvin Williams has turned into a beast the last few games.  The experiment of Marvin at the four could be a win-win (if you forget about the fact that a #3 draft pick is being benched in the process) for the Jazz.  If MAD MARVIN! continues playing great basketball he could prove to be a great trade chip for a contending team in need of help coming off the bench.  Interesting facts about Marvin this year:

  • Has the second highest win score of his career at 0.114 per 48
  • He has the highest 3 point shooting rate of his career.  48.6% of all Marvin's field goal attempts are threes.
  • Marvin his shooting 40.7% from three point. His highest percentage in his career.
  • He is taking 11.8 shots per 36, just 0.2 less shots than his career high per 36.
  • He has tied his career high of grabbing 7.1 rebounds per 36.
  • He is shooting 52.6% from 2 point. His highest field goal percentage from two in his career.
  • He's doing this at less a 17.2% usage rate. Marvin is VERY efficient right now.
Marvin is a very valuable trade asset right now.  BUT, he could be an even bigger asset to the team going forward as a veteran presence.  He lets the young guys be YUNG GUYZ.  He has become a great mentor to them along with John Lucas and Richard Jefferson.  In addition he ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTES REAL BASKETBALL STUFF on the court.  Is this Utah's glue guy for the next 4-5 years?  I actually hope so.

Alec Burks everybody!  These are Alec Burks per game stats since Trey Burke has played 25+ minutes a game.


The amazing part is when Trey Burke averages 30+ minutes a game, Alec Burks averages 29.3 mpg.  Trey Burke allows Alec Burks to do what Alec Burks does best: SWAG ON.

The Alec Burks/Trey Burke backcourt is actually highly effective.  It allows Alec Burks to cut to the basket more, Gordon Hayward to give spacing to the big guys down low, and for each perimeter player to have to play tight one on one defense with their man.  It's great.  ALL HAIL THE POINT GOD, Trey Burke!

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