Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
The Utah Jazz are a much better team when Burke starts at point guard. They're 13-15 in those 28 games and 1-13 in the others.
Part of the reason for the drastic difference is that Burke returned from injury to replace quite possibly the worst point guard situation in the NBA (something that was discussed back in November).
But that shouldn't discount how effective he's been.
Burke is second among rookies in assists at 5.7 a game behind Michael Carter-Williams. His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.7 is comfortably ahead of MCW's ratio of 2.0.
That playmaking has had a significant impact on Utah's offense. In the games in which Burke didn't start, the team's offensive rating was 93.4. Only the Milwaukee Bucks were worse in that stretch.
With Burke in the starting lineup, that number is 102.5—better than 11 teams over that period.
Things would be even better if Burke could consistently knock down some shots. He's at just 38.9 percent from the field, including a below-league-average percentage of 43.6 at the rim.
If the undersized Burke eliminated some of the tough attempts he tries to score over much bigger defenders inside, opting to dump it off to a big instead, his percentage would go up.
The rookie point guard is averaging 13.1 field-goal attempts. Only Hayward takes more shots a game. I don't necessarily have a problem with the number of shots, as long as they're good looks.
A lot of them aren't. With his size, Burke needs a reliable mid-range game and a runner he can go to in the lane. Fortunately, the formula for fixing or improving a shot isn't complicated. He simply needs to shoot, to get up as many 15-footers and runners as he can every day.
And he needs to do that while moving at game speed, with a coach or teammate running at him on every release.
If he commits to improvement there, he can absolutely be a better shooter. And when that happens, he has the potential to be a great point guard.