OT: Trey and Tim: Season Review

This is kind of off topic, but as the NBA season winds down with our 2 rookies failing to continue to the playoffs, I thought I’d look over their stats a little bit.

First off is Trey Burke, the 9th overall pick in the draft by the Timberwolves, and then was traded to the Utah Jazz. The season started off very poorly for Burke, as he struggled in the summer league and then broke his Finger, which took him out for the first month of the season. When he was ready to return, the team was an absolute train wreck, at 1-14. He immediately improved their offense improving their ppg from 91.3 to 100.5 while winning 3 out of 4. While the season continued, it was clear what Burke was going to be, at least in his rookie year, and that was a floor general type point guard that needs to work on his shot and when that improves, could be a beast. His final stat line for the year, 12.5 ppg, 5.6 apg, and 2.9 rpg, looked decent at first sight, but after a closer look, it was obvious that he still has quite a long ways before he’s the player many think he may become. He was horribly inefficient, shooting 37.8% overall and 32.8% from three. On the other side, he posted a very respectable assist/turnover ratio of 3.1, which is good, especially for a rookie. As Utah’s season became worse, Utah gave him more freedom in the pick and roll, which is when his apg went up from 4.2 per game to 6.8. As I was watching some of Utah’s games, I noticed that he has great off ball movement, but his teammates had trouble getting him the ball, limiting his catch and shoot opportunities, which definitely would have helped his shooting. Overall, it was a decent start to a career that looks to have “solid starter” written all over it.
Burke’s final game: 32 points on 10/21 shooting, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 5 turnovers. Burke’s match up, Ricky Rubio, was held to 14 points on 4/13 shooting. The Jazz won in double overtime

The other draftee out of Michigan, Tim Hardaway Jr., was drafted 24th by the New York Knicks. Many called this a puzzling pick, saying Hardaway was a player with little upside. Well let’s just say at the end of the year, Daniel O’Brien did a “re-draft” of the 2013, and had Hardaway at 5. And that was just one of the many people that say he was a top 5 rookie. He ended up shocking most people, with a final stat line of 10.1 ppg, 0.8 apg, and 1.5 rbg. He also shot 36% from three and 43% overall, making him one of the best shooters from the draft. His stat line may look very “Zak Irvin”-ish, and that’s because it is. He was simply a catch and shoot guy, with the occasional amazing dunk (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1918110-tim-hardaway-jr-slams-putback-dunk-over-ray-allen) and he was wildly effective, being the only silver lining to an otherwise bad Knicks team full of failed trades and terrible draft picks. He also made the Rookie Showcase game somewhat watchable, getting into a shootout with Dion Waiters. I recommend watching that if you haven’t yet. In conclusion, he was the most surprising Rookie in the NBA this year, and it would be a surprise if he doesn’t start in 2014-15.

Welp that’s my “analysis” which I know, wasn’t very analytical at all, but with all the talk around here about a late addition and McGary, I thought I’d shake it up a little!

I was surprised by both of our boys this year, although the surprise wasn’t necessarily positive. Mostly I was caught off guard by how inefficient Burke was – he was a pretty reliable shooter and finisher at UM so to have him shoot 38% was a bit of a shock. Hardaway, on the other hand, surprised by stepping in Day 1 and looking like he belonged. I thought his minutes and production would be limited by playing for the Knicks but he got more run than I expected – and he clearly deserved it.

I’m not an NBA guy so what is surprising to me may not be surprising to you or others. In Burke’s case, his numbers are surely impacted by playing for one of the league’s worst teams. Plus, as you pointed out, he did plenty of good things as well (A:T ratio). Hopefully his shooting improves drastically in Year 2.

Both seem to have a long career ahead.

*also Darius Morris and Manny Harris seemed to have a solid season hanging on the fringe. I think both had some short-term contracts and Manny just skipped over the pond to Turkey

Both seem to have a long career ahead.

*also Darius Morris and Manny Harris seemed to have a solid season hanging on the fringe. I think both had some short-term contracts and Manny just skipped over the pond to Turkey

Manny will stick next year. He was great but teams didn’t want to add salary. Morris is a journeyman.

I think both had good enough years to have some optimism for their future. I was a little disappointed with parts of Trey’s game. He just wasn’t efficient at all this year, which isn’t uncommon for a rookie, especially when he is so used to being “the man” for teams for so long. I don’t think his role will be the #1 or even #2 guy in Utah, and if it is, that means they’re going to be a bad team year in and year out. But I think when he figures out what shots he can and can’t take and his strengths and limitations in the NBA, he’ll be a pretty good PG in the league. Really really needs to work on defense. Every time I watched him this year, it seemed like he was getting abused. Granted, PG is one of the deepest positions in the NBA so he was running into a good one almost every night, but it’s something that needs to be addressed. I don’t know if we’ll see a big jump from him in terms of raw statistics, but his efficiency will go up in the future.

THJ needs to keep getting minutes and if Phil Jackson can straighten out the Knicks, he could be part of a special team going forward. His game is perfect for the NBA shooting and finishing in transition. His defense, although still not great, was better than I thought it’d be.