What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Jazz
Damian Lillard vs. Trey Burke
Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke, the first point guard taken in the 2013 Draft, has had a more difficult stretch to start his professional career than Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard did his first season. He got his first start two games after returning to the lineup after fracturing the index finger on his right hand during the preseason and has looked decent, with averages of 12.7 points, 4.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds, though he's shooting just 37 percent from the field.
Burke's outing in Portland's 130-98 victory against the Jazz on Dec. 6 was maybe his worst as a pro, as he finished with seven points on 3 of 9 shooting while logging just one assist in 16 minutes. In contrast, Lillard's 21-point, six-assist performance in 25 minutes made Burke's outing stick out like a sore thumb.
Regardless, Lillard said at shootaround on Monday morning in Salt Lake City that he doesn't expect Burke will let one rough game change his approach to tonight's game.
"I've been in (Burke's) shoes, when you're a rookie and you go out there and you've got to play against all of these point guards night in and night out and it can be tough," said Lillard. "The best thing to do is just move on to the next thing. That's probably what they're telling him, it's a whole new game, just keep playing your game and move on from a game that you might not have played as much or played as well as you'd like to. I'm expecting him to come out here and just be himself."
While that maybe be true, it is yet to be seen if Burke being himself will be enough to overcome Lillard being himself.
• Is tied for sixth among point guards in three-point shooting percentage at 43 percent and is second in the NBA in three-point field goals with 62
• Lillard is currently 11th in the NBA in total assists with 120
• Is the fifth NBA player with 1,900 points and 600 assists in his first 100 career games – L. James, A. Iverson, D. Stoudamire, O. Robertson
• Was selected with the ninth pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Timberwolves, then traded to Utah in exchange for the 14th and 21st picks in the same draft
• Is third among rookies in assists per game with 4.1
• AIs also third among rookies in points per game with 12.7 and is fourth among first-year players in three-point percentage at 38 percent