Can Knicks' Alec Burks sustain this kind of production as starting point guard?




Alec Burks drives against Nets in white Knicks uniform
Alec Burks drives against Nets in white Knicks uniform  

It's been two games since Alec Burks started at point guard for the Knicks. It's also been two games where Burks has seen some of his most productive games with the blue and orange.

Despite the 112-110 loss to the crosstown rival Nets, Burks' performance was one that showed why head coach Tom Thibodeau decided to make the switch from Kemba Walker to Burks.

The 6-foot-6 veteran dropped 25 points over 39 minutes on a lot of volume -- 21 shots with nine of them falling, four from three-point land. And this was one game after he had the same amount of minutes and put up 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Against Brooklyn, Burks added five boards, five assists and two steals once again.

It's a small sample size but fans are already seeing what Bruks is able to do from the start of games to give the Knicks the jolt they've needed since the beginning of the new campaign. He's great off the pick-and-roll, and Thibodeau is clearly telling him to put the ball up when he feels like he has a good look.

The main question, though, is whether or not this is sustainable. Should Burks be taking 21 shots a game like he did against Brooklyn when Julius Randle is also on the floor (he still put up 22 shots in 40 minutes of work)?

Well, Burks does lead the Knicks in three-point percentage at 44 percent, which explains why he launched 10 on Tuesday night at Barclays Center.

It will come down to how efficient Burks can be in his new role. Statistically throughout his career, he's never come close to the minutes he's played over the past two contests. If Thibodeau intends to keep that going, Burks' efficiency when he does put the ball up will tell the story of if he's ready to take on a bigger workload.

At the moment, he's doing well with it and the Knicks will certainly benefit from someone who can knock down threes while playing good defense and filling the stat sheet in ways other than points.

But even then, dropping a season-high in points on back-to-back nights proves Burks is ready for this challenge right now and willing to do what it takes to contribute more for the Knicks.

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