Utah Jazz: Jazz's summer league was filled with good and bad surprises
ORLANDO, Fla. — This past week was full of surprises for the Utah Jazz.
Some were pleasant — like the veteran poise and comfort displayed by Jeremy Evans on offense and Alec Burks on defense.
Some were really pleasant — like the solid play of draft-day acquisitions Rudy Gobert and Raul Neto.
And, yes, some were not so pleasant — like the fact that their starting point guard of the future was the talk of the Orlando Pro Summer League for the wrong reason.
One thing that wasn't a surprise?
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin took a positive spin on the 2-3 Jazz's nine-day experience, which began with a minicamp July 2 and ended with Friday's last-second 73-70 loss to Indiana in the third-place game.
"I thought all the guys played well, played hard," Corbin said.
Some shot better than others.
Although Jazz coaches aren't acting overly concerned about Burke's offensive debut, the shooting struggles of the national player of the year will probably be the lasting memory of this summer session.
Only three months after leading Michigan to the NCAA championship game, Burke just couldn't find his groove — or the bottom of the net — in his first NBA experience.
In four games, the 6-1 point guard missed 18 of 19 3-pointers and only shot 24.1 percent in four shaky outings. He also spent one game sitting next to Jazz assistant Brad Jones, getting coach-prescribed rest and a tutorial from the bench.
"I learned a lot. I think my performance was poor that's just me being honest with myself," Burke said after dishing out five assists and scoring eight points on 4-of-12 shooting Friday. "But I think that's just because my shot wasn't falling. I think everything else I did pretty well."
Burke's new head coach feels the same way.
Corbin defended the 20-year-old, who's been through a "whirlwind" with the exhaustive pre-draft process followed by a packed practice and playing schedule for summer league.
"He's a little tired, but it's a growing process for us," Corbin said. "We have a good feel for who he is. We know where we have to get him better in some situations."
"He can score the ball. His ball was flat because he was shooting it with tired legs, I think," Corbin said. "We'll get him better there. He's going to be a good player in this league for us."
Burke said he'll spend the rest of the summer working out in Salt Lake City, Santa Barbara, Calif. (at the Jazz-recommended P3 performance center), and in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The No. 9 pick wants to be able to mesh with his new team as soon as possible when training camp begins in early October.
"It'll definitely be a grind time when I get back home," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."
His biggest emphasis between now and then?
"Just consistency," said Burke, who averaged 9.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists during the Jazz's summer league games. "Consistency on my shot, consistency on making the right reads, the defensive end, getting better in the pick-and-roll defense. I think if I just polish up those areas, then I'll be a much better player."
As for Gobert and Neto, their performances reconfirmed why the Jazz were so excited that they were able to make deals on draft night to get them on the team.
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