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Following a well-documented and underwhelming performance at the Orlando Pro Summer League, curiosity has skyrocketed about what the Jazz may have in rookie point guard Trey Burke.
One possibly undervalued quality about the consensus national college player of the year? Vocal leadership.
Warriors at JazzPreseason opener
Tuesday, 7 p.m.
The Jazz are without a clear cut emotional leader, and it’s a roll that Burke expressed stepping into following the team’s annual preseason scrimmage Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena.
Burke was noticeably more vocal in Saturday’s scrimmage, bringing to mind his presence with Michigan amid a run to the NCAA title game in April.
"It’s one thing when your teammates don’t listen to you," Burke said, "but it’s great to have these teammates because they listen to you. If you have a suggestion, no matter if you’re a rookie or you’re a veteran, they’re going to listen to you."
The Jazz seemed pleased with Burke’s performance, his first public effort since summer league, when he shot just 1-for-19 from 3-point range and generally seemed disoriented within the offense.
"Thinking about the entire time that he’s had with the summer league," coach Tyrone Corbin said, "and he struggled a little bit there and going back and the body of work he put in all summer from that point on. To get better he’s in great shape."
On to games
The scrimmage marked the end of the training camp portion of the NBA preseason. The Jazz were off Sunday and will resume practice Monday before hosting Golden State in Tuesday’s preseason opener.
With only six players back from last year’s roster, how much of the Jazz offense was Corbin able to implement?
"A little bit of it," swingman Gordon Hayward said. "There’s still a lot of stuff we still have to add, just because there’s a short amount of time we can really practice and really do live things and go hard. It’s a lot to ask in three or four practices. It’s a work in progress for sure."
However, Burke said the team has learned enough that it now will just come down to execution.
"All the coaches put everything on the line that they want us to do on both sides of the court," he said. "Now it’s up to us to handle the job."
The Jazz unveiled their state-of-the-art video screens throughout EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday night, showing off the most visible element of $15 million in upgrades the Miller family dumped into the arena this summer.
The new system includes four screens hanging above center court, screens inside the ring of screens for fans seated in the lower bowl, and two LED rings circling the arena above the lower bowl.
"It was nice, it was really nice," Burke said. "It was something I was looking forward to; I was hearing we were getting new scoreboards, I’m looking forward to playing under [them]."
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