Since missing the first 12 games of the season with a broken index finger, Trey Burke hasn’t had a night off.
The rookie point guard has played in each of the Jazz’s 66 games. In that time, he’s learned there’s no time to take plays off either.
With Portland’s Damian Lillard in town Friday, that will hold especially true.
“It’s going to be another challenge and I have to get up for it,” Burke said. “… Every night you got to be ready to compete against some of the best guards in the world.”
Lillard is averaging 21 points and nearly six assists a game this season, his second in the league and his first as an all-star. The reigning rookie of the year has put up an average of 22.3 points in his three meetings with the Jazz this year.
“You’ve got to keep him out of the paint,” Utah coach Ty Corbin said. “He’s an improved shooter, but he’s really dynamic if he gets in the paint. He can finish and make plays for his teammates.”
After being waived by the Chicago Bulls and claimed by the Jazz last week, big man Erik Murphy is trying to pick up small portions of the Utah offense in hopes of seeing playing time before the season ends.
“It’s a difficult transition,” Corbin said. “We don’t have a lot of practice time. … He’s been working one-on-one a little bit. We’re trying to get him a couple plays, get him a feel for those couple plays, and get the opportunity to get him in uniform to get him on the floor.”
Forward Marvin Williams has a left knee bone bruise and did not practice Thursday morning. He’s doubtful to play Friday against Portland. Williams tried to play Tuesday against the Mavericks, logging eight minutes before being pulled for the rest of the game.