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Big Turkey Needs Dat Burke Swag

Trey Burke is putting out one of the biggest tire fires in the NBA.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz looked like a complete dumpster tire fire of a train wreck's mother in law.  Terrible.  Before Trey Burke returned the Jazz had ranked dead last in Offensive Efficiency and Defensive Efficiency and were ranking dead last or close the very bottom in most statistical categories except for rebounds.  If the Utah Jazz had not have ranked dead last in field goal percentage their rebounding would probably be near the bottom of the league as well.  MOAR MISSES = MOAR REBOUNDING which equals EVEN MOAR REBOUNDS.

That all changed with Trey Burke at the helm.  When Trey Burke has averaged at least 25 minutes a game the Utah Jazz are one of the best offensive teams in the NBA.  That is not a typo.


From The Field

When Trey Burke averages 25 minutes or more in a game the Utah Jazz's field goal percentage is 48%.  It really is good.  Since Trey has played 25 or more minutes a game the Jazz are actually 7th in the league in field goal percentage over that same stretch.  Not 30th.  Not last.  But 7th!  Before Trey Burke averaged 25 minutes or more a game the Utah Jazz had a field goal percentage of 41.9%.  It was 28th in the league and only one percentage point better than the league worst, Charlotte Bobcats.

[It's almost like the Charlotte Bobcats have a high usage inefficient player as the center of their offense.]

In addition to just the common layman's field goal percentage the Utah Jazz's efficient field goal percentage and true shooting percentage are 52.1% and 57.8%, respectively.  During this stretch the Jazz are 9th in effective field goal percentage and 6th in true shooting percentage. Before Trey Burke's rise into 25 minutes or more a game the Utah Jazz were second to last in the league in true shooting percentage at 49% and 3rd to last in the league in effective field goal percentage at 45.2%.


Over this recent Trey 25+ mpg stretch of time the Jazz are more treys with more accuracy with Trey.  Before Trey was playing more than 25 minutes a game the Jazz were second to last in the league in 3 point percentage with a 3 point percentage of 29.3%.  While that average is terrible it wouldn't have been as terrible if the Jazz were not 14th in the league in 3 point attempts up until that point.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The team with the 14th highest amount of 3 point attempts had the second to last 3 point percentage.  That's a serious case of Josh Smith-itis.

Since Trey has averaged 25 or more a game the Utah Jazz have seen a dramatic turnaround.  It's so dramatic that Robin Williams thinks it's over the top.  Since November 25th, the Utah Jazz are shooting 43.1% from beyond the arc.  43.1%!  Even more amazing is they have cut down their attempts in that stretch.  The Jazz had the 8th fewest attempts during that stretch with 72.


Before Trey

Before Trey Burke, King of Jazzland, the Utah Jazz had led the league in long twos.  No seriously.  They did.  This wasn't just us using the eyeball test.  They really did.  The Utah Jazz took 276 shots from 20-24 feet from the basket.  Before you start screaming, "BUT BUT BUT BUT MYLO CORNER THREES!" The Jazz only took 69 corner 3s in this same period. So. SHUT. UP.  In addition to taking an OMFG amount of long twos the Jazz shot almost a league worst, thanks Detroit, 29.2% from that distance.

But all was not bad in shot distribution in Jazzland, and I must compliment Ty on his coaching, the Jazz averaged the 6th most amount of shots taking 5 feet or closer to the basket.  When you take into consideration that the Utah Jazz play at the 26th slowest pace you realize how amazing a feat that is.  But then you realize how amazing a feat of leading the league at long twos is.  So ... the Ty giveth and the Ty taketh away.

The Jazz were also middle of the pack when it came to attempts from corner 3.  Not bad, but the almost league worst 23.2% from the corner is BAAAAAAD.  That's the easiest three pointer to make and the Jazz were making it with less accuracy than every single team except (and I'm actually really surprised by this) the Memphis Grizzlies.  SHAME ON YOU, HOLLINGER.  FOR SHAME.

After Trey

Utah still loves its long twos or not in the corner 3s.  BUT, they are shooting a high percentage of them.  The Utah Jazz were third in the league during Trey Time taking 91 shots between 20-24 feet.  They did make 44% of these shots which begs the question WHY DIDN'T YOU SHOOT MORE THREES???  The Jazz shot only 72 threes during this Trey stretch.  If they would have backed up just a couple feet in some of these instances the Jazz would be getting an extra point.

[Coaching Break: This is one of the most frustrating things I've seen with Ty's offense this year.  It appears the ball handler is being told to take the shot if the coast is clear on that high pick and roll.  That's not a bad thing.  The problem is opponents are giving it to them because while 44% is a respectable percentage at that distance IT IS STILL A LOW PERCENTAGE SHOT.  If Ty would have his players start that pick and roll above the 3 point line the paint would open up more, the defender would be closer to the ball handler because it's a more effective shot, and if the shot is there for the ball handler it's a three pointer not a two pointer. UGH.]

During this stretch the Utah Jazz have only taken 21 corner 3s.  21.  Making only 8 of them.  That's good and all but the shot distribution shows that a significant part of the Jazz's improved offense is based on fool's gold, the low percentage long two.  Dennis Lindsey, get our your blackberry, in all caps type "NO MOAR LONG TWOS".  You're welcome.

On the plus side the Jazz have averaged less shots from 10-19 feet and have moved a lot of those shots closer to the basket.  They have also shot 63.2% from less than five feet from the basket, 4th best in the league.  THIS IS MUCH BETTER.


If I were to ask you what team had the most efficient offensive lineup in the NBA would you believe me that it's Utah?  No seriously.  It is.  This lineup:

  • Trey Burke
  • Alec Burks
  • Gordon Hayward
  • Marvin Williams
  • Derrick Favors
This lineup is deadly.  It boasts a league best offensive rating of 154.7.  It's no Indiana Pacers defensive juggernaut but man can it flat out score.

It also is the league's best offensive rebounding lineup, one of the top 20 defensive rebounding lineups, and, like most of Ty's effective lineups, hasn't been on the floor for more than 19 minutes all season.  In fact when you look at most of the Jazz's players rise in stats they correspond directly to when Trey has returned to the court and played big minutes.  Players that have had significant stat increases in the past 4 games:
  • Alec Burks (Shooting above 50%, playing in his real role of SG, and seeing the floor)
  • Gordon Hayward (Has broken out of his slump and is getting 6 FTA per game)
  • Marvin Wiliams (Averaging career and near-career highs in almost every statistical category)
  • Derrick Favors (Shooting 69% from the field and 80% from the line)
Those who play significant minutes with Burke all have a significant increase in offensive efficiency.  Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Marvin Williams, and Derrick Favors all have offensive ratings above 114.

The Fifth Wheel

Coinciding with Trey Burk's insertion into the starting lineup has been Enes Kanter's removal from it.  Judging from the statistics of those who have played significant time with Trey Burke it would make sense that the way to get the Big Turkey out of his Big Slump is to have him play with a point guard.  A real point guard.  Right now Trey Burke has made Marvin Williams look like a lottery pick.  He has turned the Derrick Favors pick and roll into a weapon that must be registered in all 50 states.  He has brought back Alec Burks' SWAG.  Swag on, Burks.  Swag on.  He has pulled Gordon out of the abysmal depths of a slump.


I believe John F. Kennedy said that.

Let Kanter play with Trey Burke.  He needs it.  He's averaging close to career lows in field goal percentage and confidence since his move to the bench.  His rebounding percentage continues to drop and he's passing up open looks that in the past he'd take with confidence.  We saw this Alec Burks last year.  He was held to an impossibly high standard that others were not.  He needs a point guard mentor.  Trey makes life easier for big men.  He makes life easier for everyone.  In just these past 4 games we have seen what John Stockton probably foresaw when he was watching tape of Trey at Michigan.

Trey is a leader.  He has poise.  Most importantly, he has a skill no one else on the Jazz has, he has the ability to make people better.  Put Kanter back in the starting lineup.  Not because it will win games, but because it will help Kanter learn how to win games.  That's what this season is about.  Not about watching veterans win games for you, but about watching these young guys learn to win games.  What's the pay off in the long run to keeping Kanter away from playing with Trey Burke?  You are investing 30+ mpg in a rookie point guard who wasn't even drafted top 5 and look at the payoff!  He's special.  Do the same for your top 3 pick 7 footer.  Ask Mitch McGary, Kanter would thrive with Trey.