EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – The Burks edition

Emptying the Noggin
• This is win you have to have. Still positives coming out of the night. The ball movement was strong. The help defense was solid. The effort was consistent and the team is gaining a good deal of momentum having won 4 of 5.

• Mid way through the second quarter Tyrone Corbin went back to Alec Burks as the point guard with Foye and Hayward on the floor. The group prospered again. Over the next 6:14 the Jazz outscored the Bobcats 24-11. With 3:01 left in the 3rd quarter Burks came back and the Jazz outscored the Bobcats 12-7 to close the 3rd leading by 17. Impressive 36 to 18 in 9:15 seconds of action. The Jazz were outscored by 7 in the 4th when Burks played the entire quarter but the game was never in doubt.

• It is not entirely clear to me what Burks is doing so well as the point guard. He is not making a ton of plays with penetration and dish, he is simply a threat offensively which neither Tinsley or Watson is. Burks is improving. The coaches have worked with him on two items specifically at the point guard position, one is to not dribble every time he gets the ball and the second is to play in the open court with his head up. Those things are happening.

• Tonight is the box score I anticipated from him when I scouted him out of college 4/9 shooting (44%) 0 for 2 from three (don’t believe this will ever be a strength) 4 of 5 from the line – 12 points on 9 shots with 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 minutes. That is exactly what I thought he would be. If he jumps up a few more minutes he is a 15 point a game scorer going to the line about 6 to 7 times a night. From the day I scouted him in college I thought he could be a scorer in the league. He was one of the few players in that draft I thought could be an all-star and that would depend on the small chance he becomes a good outside shooter. I still don’t think that is happening. Everything else that would make him a solid NBA starter or 6th man is beginning to show.

• Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap did what they should do and dominated the inferior bigs of the Bobcats. Everything the Bobcats did all night in rotations and approach was based on their inability to handle Paul and Al down low. Paul started the night abusing Tyrus Thomas and then what Al Jefferson did to Bismack Biyombo was unfair. If it was in the playground he would have been sent to see the principal. Last year Jefferson abusing him for 31 and this year was just as bad.

• Paul Millsap was terrific all game. He may have returned to his Paul Millsap self, he had 5 assists tonight and 3 block shots.

• Other things I really liked tonight- 3 assists from Derrick Favors, 30 assists from the team, only 13 offensive rebounds allowed in 44 chances, only 8 three point shots allowed, leading on the road

• Gordon Hayward went 4 of 5 from three. This is just getting silly. He is 13 of his last 19 from three, he is 32 of his last 60 that is 5th best in the NBA.

• The team is referring to this as the business trip. Not sure why they all aren’t but there seems to be a mindset of seriousness that is emerging in this group. The Bobcats make you look good, we will know more after the next two.