Question 16 of 20 Questions to Jazz Camp – Where will we see improvement in Alec Burks?

Today is question 16 of 20 questions to Jazz camp. If you have a question please submit it to me at dlocke@utahjazz.com or via twitter @lockedonsports or facebook Locked on Sports

QUESTION 16 – Where will we see improvement in Alec Burks?

The answer to this could be endless. The jump from year 1 to year 2 is the first of two big jumps every player takes in the NBA.

Offensively, we saw a jump after all-star game where his shooting increased from 42% to 43% and he improved his scoring from 5.8 to 8.4 pts a game. However, his final 13 games when his time increased his field goal percentage decreased to 40.7%. Impressively, he went to the line 83 times in 30 games to close the year.

Earlier in these questions I compared Burks career to a few players the most similar is Larry Hughes. Hughes got traded in his second year and after the trade jumped from 10 pts a game to 22 pts a game. His shooting percentage stayed very similar but he went to the line more and more.

One specific area where Burks is likely to improve is his mid-range shooting game. As most rookies experience the area in the paint closes down in the NBA and it is hard to get solid looks. Last year, Alec Burks was 9 for 48 on shots from 3 to 9 feet and 4 of 18 on shots between 10 and 15 feet. Combined he was 13 of 63 (21%).

This is the number 1 area where young players struggle. Gordon Hayward improved from year 1 to 2 considerably. In his first year he was 9 of 26 (35%) from 3 to 15 feet and then in his 2nd year he was 36 for 78 (46%). Most noticeably is Hayward learn how to take the shot in that range.

Evan Turner of the 76ers also improved in the same range. In his first year Turner was 61 of 163 (37%) then in his second year he was 82 for 192 (43%).

This is also vitally important to his career, Wesley Johnson stopped going inside in his second year and Paul George regressed in this area which is a disturbing trend.