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Utah Jazz: Alec Burks, Randy Foye help shorthanded team stay on point

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5 2013 8:40 p.m. MST

Pairing Foye and Burks is just one of those solutions. All the better that Foye is on target to smash the Jazz's 3-point shooting record and that Burks has developed an inside and outside game to go with improved playmaking decisions.

"We just make reads. If it's a play that we need to set up where I need to initiate the ball, then (I'll) do it," Foye said. "If it's a play where I need to be on the weak side, then he'll bring up the ball. I think we fit good together because we read off of each other."

"Just two combo guards that can score (and) set teammates up," Burks said of the pairing with Foye. "It's a great thing and we make it happen together."

It helps, Foye said, that the Jazz offense can be initiated by multiple players, not just the point guard, per se.

Foye played point guard earlier in his NBA career at Minnesota, so this isn't a new thing for him. Burks was a part-time point in high school and college, and he's feeling more comfortable with each passing professional opportunity — both offensively and defensively. He's taking smarter shots, helping teammates get looks and staying on his man.

All the while, Burks said he's receiving good advice from the guys he's filling in for — Williams, Watson and Tinsley.

"Just learning from them," he said, "it's helped my game out a lot."

In turn, Burks is finding a way to help his team out, too.

"It's always fun to play the game that you love," he said. "As long as I'm on the court, that's the position I like."

Burks, never lacking for self-esteem, has received a confidence boost that Corbin has entrusted him with point guard duties.

"It's the utmost confidence," he said. "If you run a team, then you've got to have a lot of confidence from your coach. It's a great thing."

What does Tinsley, the guy Burks has been spelling, think of the job the second-year pro is doing?

"I think he's doing a good job attacking," Tinsley said of Burks. "He could be one of them guys that can play point and play two but be a scoring point guard. I think he's doing a great job."

As he tends to do, Corbin was quick to point out the "character" of the Jazz players to rally together in tough times. That has helped ignite individual progression and collective improvement.

"The trust has gotten better on both ends of the floor. They hold each other accountable," Corbin said. "They just don't make any excuses because somebody's out, because we don’t have this or that. We have each other and we want to continue to work to play together."

That said, the Jazz are looking forward to getting all their non-Raja Bell pieces put back together again.

"Hopefully, we'll get bodies back — especially if we get Gordon back, he gives us another ballhandler, and then I can play a combination of Gordon, Alec and Randy, split the ballhandling duties there," Corbin said.

"Hopefully Mo and Earl will get healthy and be able to get back for us, if not before, soon after the All-Star break."

The Jazz have five games remaining before that five-day break.

"I just think once we get those guys back," Jefferson added, "everybody will come together and everybody will take advantage."

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com

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