Unless you have been living without your cell phone or computer for the past year, you know Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke has created controversy. Who can forget him making fun of a handicapped person on Twitter? Or, the pics of his junk that his jilted ex re-tweeted?
Ah, the salad days of yore. Or, yowwwch. Whatever you prefer. In any case, it is clear that Burke is at the intersection of No Return Boulevard and Career Changing Road. Either he takes his Bentley painted black with gleaming 24-inch rims, blasting Lil Jeezy as he motors through the boulevard and past the light turned red, throwing caution and hamburger wrappers to the wind. Then, after his short drive to the arena, he chucks up ill advised shots like he just-don’t-care.
Well, that’s what happened earlier this week, when he shot a franchise-history-worst 4-for-22 from the field, capping his not-so-wonderful night with a straight up, off-balance air ball from the right corner as overtime expired, giving Jazz fans acid indigestion and Burke’s team a loss to the worst team in the NBA.
At certain points last year, Burke took said luxury automobile to the light, turning right on the road only after he signaled his intention to do so. He then carefully maneuvered past other vehicles while giving them the right-of-way as he drove the speed limit to the arena, waving to everyone including the parking attendant along the way. Once inside the arena, he played like a cham-peen, knocking down half of his shots en route to a 32-point night.
And then he made fun of a handicapped guy and tweeted out his peen for all the world to see. (You can’t have everything.) Frankly, it’s too bad nobody has seen a night like the 32-point thingy from Burke lately. Which begs the point people are starting to make. Are Burke’s days numbered in a Jazz jersey? Obviously, he isn’t starting. He’s become the second team’s first option off the bench. Did his Bentley take too many wrong turns from the team’s practice facility and wind up at some proverbial bodega in Glendale, for God’s sake?
Beep-boop-boop-beep-bip say Jazz bloggers like Salt City Hoops, throwing out raw data on Tues. March 24 like-they-just-don’t-care, along with analytics that just make them look like they’re doing something constructive in their cubicles while trying to talk all white and nerdy.
But, if you look closely at the only numbers SCH spit out that really matter–his actual statistics–you can see that Burke is scoring the ball and shooting it better after Jan. 22 than he was before. Um, sure he’s passing the ball a bit less than before (down to 4.7/game from 5.6)–but the Jazz aren’t exactly telling him NOT to shoot the ball less.
Au contraire, Doc Martens. Another stat geek Jazz blog says it’s a chemistry issue and that Burke’s role in being the No. 1 guy off the bench is temporary until Alec Burks returns from injury, like say, next season. Meh, what IF Burke is 50 percent liquid and 50 percent gas, as SLC Dunk explains. Say wha-aaat?!?
The real story from that summation is that Burke is currently ranked No. 30 among the NBA’s Top 30 point guards, according to ESPN. And that like all young PG’s–Burke is only 22–the Michigan man will only get better with time, like a fine wine. Sure, dude might come out fermented on occasion, like when he chunked up ugly shots time and time again at the arena, making Jazz fans’ hot chocolate come up through their throats like 50-day-old prune juice. That day was this past Monday.
As for Burke’s scoring, well, he did have 20 points against the potential world champion Golden State Warriors this past weekend in Oakland, making seven of his 16 shots. Therefore, the sky around the arena is not falling. The game before that, he shot 64 percent against the Lakers, scoring 17 points. And the game before that, he scored 14 points in a loss to Washington while shooting–wait for it–63 percent. Enough already about his shooting.
Will Burke be the next John Stockton? Will anyone? Or, will Burke be dealt in the off-season and will the Jazz finally bring in Brazilian play maker Raul Neto, who is not exactly KILLING it in Spain–scoring nine points and dishing out five dimes per game? All of those questions and more remain to be answered by people a lot more qualified to answer these things. In the meantime, everyone can keep speculating whether Burke is made of liquid and gas–or both–and whether his days in a No. 3 Jazz jersey are fading fast.