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The Downbeat: Is Alec Burks back?

AB shows signs of returning to his old self

NBA: Preseason-Maccabi Haifa B.C. at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

A healthy Alec Burks could mean the world to the Utah Jazz this upcoming season. The Jazz will need every ounce of athleticism and explosiveness given their current roster, and Burks can provide that given he has returned to his healthy self. Burks’ performance stood out in a preseason outing Wednesday night, which headlines today’s downbeat.

Alec Burks posted solid box score numbers Wednesday night, and looked to be more comfortable and confident on the court. Burks finished with a game-high 16 points and 8 rebounds, including shooting a perfect 3-3 from behind the arch. Of course, the level of competition isn’t close to a typical NBA opponent, but it is a great sign for Jazz fans regardless.

Seeing Burks drive, cut, and throw down a dunk is a positive sign no matter the circumstances.

Burks is also currently leading the NBA in preseason PER, take it for what it is worth.

Yesterday marked 26 years since the opening of new Utah Jazz arena, which was then called the Delta Center. It’s come a long way since that day in 1991, and still has plenty of room for more memories (and hopefully an NBA Championship).

The NBA released the annual GM Survey, and there were a few mentions of some Jazz personnel.

  • Rodney Hood received votes for “most likely to have breakout season”.
  • Despite his All-NBA season last year, Rudy Gobert was not voted as a top four center in the league, and came in fifth with votes received.
  • Donovan Mitchell received the third-most votes for biggest steal in the draft, at 7%.
  • Rudy Gobert received the third-most votes for best defensive player, at 10% of votes, but also received the most votes for best interior defender with 66% of votes.
  • The Jazz received the third-most votes for best defensive team in the league, with 7% of GM votes.
  • Quin Snyder received some praise from NBA GM’s, receiving votes for best motivator/manager, as well as receiving third-most votes for best defensive schemes.
  • Ricky Rubio received third-most votes for best passer in the league.

If there are any possible areas for an early and unwarranted overreaction, it could be aimed at Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio. Rubio is yet to record a made field goal so far in two preseason games. Dante Exum, on the other hand, has played well in two games, which possibly opens up the discussion for a competition for the starting point guard spot.

Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune took a closer look at the Rubio-Exum case, and what it could mean for the Jazz going forward.

A Jazz point guard shined on Wednesday night — just not the one who started.

It took a few minutes for the Utah Jazz to find an offensive rhythm in a 117-78 win over visiting Maccabi Haifa. The change came after a Jazz timeout, when new Jazzman Ricky Rubio subbed out and third-year guard Dante Exum came in.

For Exum: Nine points, six assists, no turnovers. For Rubio: Two points, five assists, six turnovers.

Rubio is clearly the better, more experienced option at point guard, and his passing ability will do wonders for the Jazz and their talented big men. But Goon makes a valid argument for the Jazz and how they will handle this situation in the future, with Exum in his contract year and Rubio’s expiring contract in two years.

Dante Exum’s spin move. That is all.