The crowd at EnergySolutions Arena cheered loudly for the rookie, as he made his first regular-season start in front of his home fans. But through the first 41 minutes of his debut, Trey Burke didn’t look like himself.
“I missed some shots I usually don’t miss. I missed some guys on the perimeter I usually don’t miss,” said Burke, who said he became frustrated with his play.
In fact, the ninth overall pick in the draft hit on just three of his first 12 shots.
When it mattered most, though, Burke came up big.
“He’s a confident guy,” Jazz coach Ty Corbin said with a laugh after the team’s 89-83 overtime win over Chicago . “There’s never no doubt about him being confident. He’s been in big moments before. He’s starting to go through big moments in this league.”
After making his NBA debut last week, and playing in all three of the team’s road games last week — all losses — Burke found himself fighting for a win for the first time as a pro Monday.
After Chicago’s Luol Deng had just put the Bulls up 74-73 with a pair of free throws with just under two minutes left on the clock, Burke found himself with the ball. Despite shooting just 25 percent from the floor to that point, Burke dribbled toward the rim and hit a running 10-footer to put Utah back on top.
In overtime, Burke again provided some needed offense.
As the Bulls tried to force the point guard baseline, Burke fought his way around the screen and found himself open for 3.
He nailed it, putting Utah up 83-78, en route to its second win of the year.
It was far from a perfect game. The rookie finished with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and five turnovers, as he played 34 minutes — his longest outing since returning from preseason finger surgery.
“He’s got to learn by going through the process,” Corbin said. “This is a great learning experience for him. We’ll watch [film] and talk about it. … He’s got to be able to see what’s working well. He can’t put himself in binds, can’t turn the ball over, get late into a shot clock and in a crowd.”
The coach added, “He made a big shot for us though.”