Utah Jazz notebook: Portland's Damian Lillard presents another big challenge for rookie Trey Burke
SALT LAKE CITY — Trey Burke hasn't been shy to talk about wanting to win the NBA's Rookie of the Year award.
He’ll get his first look at the current holder of that crown Friday night in Boise when the Jazz take on Portland and point guard Damian Lillard at CenturyLink Arena.
Three nights after taking on Steph Curry, Burke can’t wait to face the ex-Weber State star who lit up the league last season.
Oh, and Burke gets the Clippers’ Chris Paul on Saturday.
Welcome to the NBA, kid.
“I’m very excited,” Burke said. “This is what I expected coming into this league. Every night you can’t relax. It’s no longer college. You have to be on your P's and Q's.”
Burke is glad to have his pro debut under his belt. He admitted he experienced “a little bit of nerves” and “excitement” in Tuesday’s 101-78 win over Golden State.
Burke started slowly but scored 12 points — after swishing his first 3-pointer — and dished out three assists.
“I just tried to let the game come to me,” he said. “That’s what John (Stockton) and all the veterans told me. They told me not to press, just let the game come to me.”
FAMILIAR FACES: Tonight the Jazz will see two of the seven free agents they let wander elsewhere this past offseason. Point guards Mo Williams and Earl Watson are Lillard’s backups. Former Jazz guard Wesley Matthews remains with Portland, too.
“It’s hard to see the guys go, especially the good guys,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “Mo did a good job here and Earl was great here with us. The main thing is to see them to continue to play and do what they want to do — playing NBA basketball."
NOTES: Friday's preseason game — to be played on the court of the D-League’s Idaho Stampede — won't be televised. Corbin seemed to be leaning toward using the same starters: Burke, Gordon Hayward, Richard Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. The coach also hopes to find playing time for guys who didn’t play Tuesday: Brian Cook, Dwayne Jones and Lester Hudson.
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