The Utah Jazz traded up in the 2013 NBA Draft to select the consensus NCAA player of the year from the University of Michigan. Now in his third season the point guard is coming off the bench and coming into himself as an NBA player. Trey has worked on his body and his shot all off-season long and his on-court production has soared as a result. He is shooting career highs across the board (except from the free throw line), and he has never defended better. I'm obviously a fan and think that Trey is going to continue carving out a niche for himself like so many other guards who came into the league with less than excellent rookie seasons: , , , and others.
This season Trey is playing his fewest minutes per game (23.1 mpg) and his assists have gone down accordingly (2.8 apg, down from 5.7). But what has gone up is his overall play and specifically his efficiency. This is reflected in his advanced stats this year -- he's never been as effective as he is today. If you look at the normal stats you only see drops in his overt box score performance. If you look deep you get to see how important he is to this Utah Jazz team.
If you look at USG%, AST%, and TOV% you see the players who have the biggest impact on your team. They finish plays one way or another -- through scoring, creating for others, or making a mistake on offense. And no player is making as big of an overall impact as Trey for the Jazz.
Of note, all three centers,, , and , are all turning the ball over quite a bit. Trey Burke and are the only really ball distributors on the team, though only one of them gets that title from casual fans. There are a lot of guys who take shots in , , , , and Trey -- but at times I think some of them don't get the ball enough, while others take the ball too much.
, , and a few others are players with an almost 1 : 1 ratio between USG% and TOV%. Those are just dangerous players to have on the court for both teams. I was surprised to see among them this year. I guess he needs just as much as Dante needs Joe?
So, I was surprised to see Trey being such a big part of what this team does on offense -- even with his assist numbers plummeting. He's still good. He's more effective than ever. So maybe this is the better Trey than the one who used to dime 6 times a game with a 3 : 1 assist to turn over ratio? I'm really a traditional stats guy, and advanced stats sometimes are beyond me. But in this case I guess the eyeball test is wrong. He's a big part of what the Jazz are doing.
Trey is better -- and the number prove it. Even if we are hesitant to laud him for everything he does on the court. I remain a Trey fan. I just wish he busted out for 20 points now and then.