It’s been said that an NBA team is only as good as its bench.
The Utah Jazz bench has been proving it lately.
The starters struggled in Utah’s 98-91 overtime win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday. But the bench players, led by Alec Burks with 14 points, outscored the Kings reserves 41-21. Derrick Favor had 13 points and DeMarre Carroll had 10.
Nowadays, it’s apparent that the NBA teams with the deepest benches are those that can compete for a title. Utah may be a ways away from title contention but they have the depth to win a lot of ballgames.
Burks came off the bench and hit 5-of-7, so did Favor. A bench player can help his team by having the hot hand the moment you’re on the floor. It changes everything about the game, in your favor.
Burks can usually be counted upon to deliver some key baskets for his team but he’s been struggling a little bit to hit his shots. His numbers are down from his rookie season in 2011-12. He’s 29 percent in threes compared to a career record of 32. He’s shooting 37 percent from the floor but his two-year career mark is 41 percent.
In college, at the University of Colorado, Burks shot more than 50 percent. Obviously, NBA defenses are tougher but Burks has to be more creative and find ways to get higher percentage shots and make them.
The Jazz can keep being a successful team if Burks and other bench players perform on a consistent and effective level. But whether or not they can and will remains to be seen.