Two teams that are currently going through rebuilding efforts faced off today at the Amway Center in Orlando and contrary to what many people would think based on their records, the Utah Jazz and Orlando Magic put up a good show. There weren’t many points scored and while the game wasn’t a very attractive one on paper, it turned to be a very exciting contest that was decided in the final minutes with Jazz prevailing on the road 86-82.
There were some bright spots on both sides, but the young stars of the Jazz were especially efficient tonight. While Derrick Favors was the standout performer on the defensive end with five blocks and 11 rebounds to go along with 14 points, the offense was led by rookie Trey Burke. The Michigan product had a career night and finished with 30 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, the highest points total for a first-year player so far this year.
Burke won the rookie matchup against Victor Oladipo, who was unable to mark a difference. The second-overall pick had a dismal night on both ends of the floor and ended with only three points on 1-of-12 shooting, being clearly outplayed by Burke through the majority of the game.
While it’s unlikely that any of these teams will end up making a playoff run this season, both sides showed today that they have exciting young pieces that could turn the fortune of the franchises in only a few years. Burke was the undisputed star tonight and if he can continue playing like this in his rookie year, the Jazz can return to contention sooner than expected.