Detroit Pistons: Alec Burks’ 3-point clinic in a disaster

Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. (1) and Detroit Pistons guard Alec Burks Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. (1) and Detroit Pistons guard Alec Burks Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons’ basketball has already hit a lull this season. Detroit has been decimated by injuries, leaving their 2022-23 season as one that can draw development, and not much else of note. Neither the NBA trade deadline and All-Star break have even hit yet, leaving fans with months of games left to try and find some sort of intrigue.

Individual progress, or regression, is fun to keep an eye on when your team isn’t playing for anything meaningful.

I’m going to be looking for interesting stat lines that Pistons players put up, sharing what stood out on tape and what I’d look for that player to continue (or stop immediately). I hope to get through each Pistons player who remains on the court by season’s end. Yes, hopefully even Rodney McGruder!

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Our first honoree for a Pistons interesting box score is Alec Burks.

Saturday night’s disastrous loss against the Houston Rockets was the second game in a row where Burks was slotted into the starting lineup. Coach Dwane Casey has given him the nod, for now, over Killian Hayes.

This may have been due to Hayes dealing with an injury, or Casey just looking to shake things up for a team who desperately needs it.

Burks has gotten to 20 points in both of his recent starts, making his case to stay in the initial five.

Detroit Pistons: Burks’ 3-point shooting shines in loss

Against the Rockets, Burks put up 21 points, two rebounds and two assists. He shot 6-for-11 from three, with those six threes being the only field goals that he made on the night.

His 3-point shooting and quick scoring ability is the obvious plus when you look to Burks’ game. To this point for the Detroit Pistons, that has usually come in the form of a spark off the bench.

In the starting lineup, Burks gets the opportunity for a few additional looks to generate further offense.

Here, Jaden Ivey draws a quick double-team that sees Burks’ man sag off, leaving him open behind the 3-point line.

This continued to happen as other Pistons scorers drew attention, mistakenly taking defenders eye’s away from Burks.

Burks also showcased the ability to hit pullup jumpers off of ball screens, keeping the defense on their toes, not just closing out on him in catch-and-shoot opportunities.

Burks has shown his lethalness behind the arc all season, shooting 45.5 percent from three on the year.

Against the Rockets, he only saw success from 3-point land, just taking one shot from inside the long line, that didn’t end up finding its way in. Burks was deadly all the way around the arc, but he was 0-for-3 on 3-point attempts on the left wing. That may be a spot to stay away from in upcoming games.

I’m interested to see whether the Burks to the starting lineup experiment continues. He adds floor spacing and opens up the door for Ivey to be the primary ball handler in the first group. Burks also has a knack for drawing fouls, getting to the line for a Pistons offense that desperately needs scoring at times.

He remains one of the Pistons better and more intriguing trade pieces for contending teams, hearing his name often in trade talks leading up to February’s trade deadline. I think that Burks is a great veteran presence for this team, and wouldn’t be mad to see him remain in Detroit after the deadline and into next season.

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