NBA Rumor: Alec Burks Injury

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“I feel so much better,” Burks told The Tribune on Wednesday. “I’ve had a great summer, and playing at UCLA was the first time that I thought to myself that I’m back and ready to play like my old self.” Burks’ ongoing saga with injuries is almost three years old. It began in 2014, with an injured shoulder that required season-ending surgery. He recovered by training camp of the next year, and was playing some of the best basketball of his career.
4 years ago via ESPN

Tim MacMahon: Jazz wing Alec Burks is nearing his season debut after recovering from ankle surgery, as he returned to practice this week. The return of the explosive Burks, 25, who has been sidetracked by several injuries since averaging 14 points per game in 2013-14, will present a welcome challenge for coach Quin Snyder. He must figure out how to split playing time between Burks and Joe Ingles, who leads the league in 3-point percentage (.478) and has been a key reserve all season.

The biggest surprise of the media session was the word about Alec Burks’ health. Burks had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and ankle on June 7, but was “expected to be ready prior to the start of 2016-17 Jazz training camp,” according to the team at that time. Now, though, Burks is still limited in practice. Here’s the full quote from head coach Snyder on where Burks’ health currently stands: “He’s making really good progress. We’re doing the same thing with Alec that we did with Dante. I think Dennis had a really good way of putting it, ‘We’re going to focus on the next 12 years over the next 12 months.’ It’s true with Alec. We just want to get him where he’s comfortable and confident, and now’s the right time to do that. He’s going through everything that we’re doing except he’s not involved in contact stuff. I feel like he’s getting more comfortable. And it’s going to be the same thing where he’s going to have to dust it off and get his timing back and get his habits back. But really everybody’s in the same place with the habits.”

Burks has been participating in some on-court activities during “controlled practices.” Meanwhile, Jazz continue testing Burks’ body — “everything from his balance to asymmetry in his legs. Is one stronger than the other?” “There’s a point where it’s not wise for him to go out until he’s hitting some watermarks,” Snyder said. “The progression includes everything from shooting, lifting, jumping, cutting, to playing one-on-one, playing three-on-three and he’s at a point where he’s much further along in the process, but we can’t say he’s there or that he’s going to be ready for Phoenix [on Sunday]. That’s basically the process that we’re in the middle of and it’s been ongoing since our doctors said his ankle’s healed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s cleared to play.”
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March 3, 2021 | 9:47 am EST Update
Several sources within the Houston organization firmly believe Morey made a preemptive decision, departing in large part because he anticipated Harden would want out, beginning a rebuilding period for the Rockets. According to sources, Morey had expressed concern inside the bubble about not being able to “keep James happy,” due to a lack of picks to use as trade fodder to make offseason roster upgrades.
Harden’s happiness, or lack thereof, was Stone’s problem after the longtime Rockets front office executive was promoted to replace Morey. But just getting Harden to communicate with him was difficult for Stone and the Houston front office, a factor that delayed the coaching search that ultimately ended with the hiring of Silas, a longtime NBA assistant who was a finalist when Houston hired D’Antoni four years earlier. By early November, the Rockets had privately come to terms with the fact that the Harden-Westbrook pairing fizzled, as the friends no longer wanted to play together. That was problematic, given the steep price the Rockets paid in the Westbrook trade the previous summer, but Houston could stomach searching for a Westbrook trade.
After the game, crew chief Marc Davis told a pool reporter that Booker’s first technical was for “continuous complaining” and the second was for “directing profane language at a game official.” Suns forward Jae Crowder said he tried to get between Booker and the referees to deescalate the tense situation but was too late. “Devin was disputing his first technical,” Crowder said. “He didn’t like the first technical that was given to him and he voiced his opinion about it. The second ref heard him voice his opinion and decided to give him another one.”
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
“I think Jae Crowder said it best: We got better tonight,” said Suns coach Monty Williams after the game. “You gain confidence when a guy like Book doesn’t play or gets tossed and you’re able to pull a game out on the road at the end of a trip. That’s a recipe for mailing it in, and this group has shown a lot of resiliency. But that was a big-time character win, and we got better. “I think we played good tonight, but we probably got more confidence that we can pull a game out without Devin or Chris [Paul] saving the day.”
LeBron James was asked about dealing with the stretch of recent games. “Just trying to stay in the moment. For me just standing in the moment, keeping my guys motivated, keeping them upbeat,” the four-time NBA champion said. “You could definitely tell that some of our guys are just feeling the midst of the long season that we had last year with the bubble and coming right back on to the season this year. A lot of guys looking forward to the break so it’ll be beneficial to our guys.”
But don’t diminish Turner based on one historically challenging matchup. He should still be a frontrunner for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, if not the favorite to win the award over the likes of Embiid, Rudy Gobert and others, at least based on his body of work so far this season. Here’s why: For one, Turner leads the league in blocks at 3.4 per game, and it isn’t particularly close. Gobert came into the Philly game second in that category, 11 blocks behind. Of course, leading the league in blocks isn’t necessarily the litmus test; in 2018-19, Turner led the league in blocks and didn’t get a sniff of the award. It’s why he knew that if he wanted to bolster his candidacy, he needed to add some subtle elements to his defensive game.