Game Recap: Utah Jazz gets by Sixers 105-100

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Burks has been phenomenal lately.

And by lately, I don't mean over a couple of games. I mean since late November (per-36 minute stats):

  • 18.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 2.3 turnovers, 3.1 PF
  • 47% FG, 39% 3P, 75% FT ... 57% True Shooting

Alec Burks leads the team in spot-up 3P% — though to be fair, he doesn't shoot them nearly as often as most guys you think of in when you hear the term "spot-up 3-point shooter."

Alec Burks scores, in points per possession, above the team's average. He ranks #25th in the entire NBA in iso ppp. He ranks #9 in the NBA in ppp off cuts, #18 off hand offs, and #9 off screens.

He's not perfect. His overall spot up shooting is just okay. His transition ppp is just okay.

But the real point is this: if you make a list of everything you want from your primary wing scorer, Alec Burks is not only the best on the team — by a long way — but he's among the better ones in the entire NBA.

And for whatever reason, he cannot get a starting spot, and he's stuck playing about 27 minutes per game.

And so we haven't really gotten over 18 points per game from Alec. We've gotten about 13 and a half. And we're left to speculate about what he'd do as a starter, playing 36+ minutes per game. We're left to speculate what would happen to Gordon's efficiency if the team used him as a Point-Forward rather than a leading scorer. We're left to speculate what the team would be like getting 36 minutes of that kind of production instead of just 27.

* * *

I'll be honest: I just don't get it. I try to enjoy games for what they are ... but in the back of my mind I'm watching such inexplicable decisions that I am left rather befuddled.

I'm thrilled to see Alec performing like this. It's the kind of breakout I had hoped we'd get from one or two of our young players this year. If Alec could pull this off as a full-time starter ... well we would have the star we've been looking for.

* * *

In regards to the game, the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers are terrible. They lost the last two games by 88 points. At one point they were losing to the Clippers 89-33.

And the Jazz would have lost today without Alec Burks' 23 minutes of playing time. I don't care how long you look at that fact, and that number, it will never make any more sense. I guess we just get to accept it and move on.

Three (plus two) positives

  • Burks. 26 points. 23 minutes. 10 shots. And a lot of FT's (almost a Dantley). And the best freaking dunk I've seen from a Jazzman all year.
  • Jeremy Evans is a legit player. He scores efficiently, has a great touch on that outside J, finishes fun alley-oops, blocks shots, and rebounds. We got to see it all tonight. Basketball is so much more fun when you can have 15-20 minutes of Jeremy Evans involved.
  • Hayward's chasedown block. Say what you will about his shot (ugh), but that block was nasty. Gordo also had no business whatsoever pulling it off ... he started about 30 feet behind Moultrie. It was hustle with a mean streak.
  • Marv gets the team a fourth positive. He shot well, rebounded like a mad bull, and had an all-around good game.
  • Richard Jefferson had a couple great dunks. Not quite like Burks' to seal the game, but still spectacular. And one off a great pass from Rudy after RJeff makes a terrific backdoor cut.

Three negatives

  • It was still the Seventy-Sixers
  • Gordon and Trey combined to shoot 6-29 (20.6%). Thankfully Gordon still contributes other ways (7 rebounds and 7 assists) but those two are putting up a lot of really ugly shots lately.
  • Favors was pulled with a "hip ... uh ... thingey" (to quote our resident MD). Let's hope that if he's out long it's for tanking reasons and not legitimate health reasons.

Addendum

How fun is it to get this quote from a Jazzman (from the AP): "I relish contact. I really was just trying to be aggressive," Burks said. "That's my game, going to the hoop."


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