Jody Genessy of the Deseret News immediately voiced doubt:
How bad is Burks’ injury?
Guard Alec Burks, who has been out with a fractured left fibula since Dec. 26, is still out and not expected to play the rest of the season.
Again, that report was met with immediate skepticism. Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders:
It’s a little unusual to get so many conflicting reports from local reporters, but the Jazz’s secrecy opens the door to this.
Utah coach Quin Snyder, intentionally or not, didn’t offer any clarity.
Austin Horton of The Zone Sports Network:
- Report: “There was a report maybe that Alec would be shut down completely. Have you guys made the decision at all?
- Snyder: “That’s just erroneous. I don’t know – where did you read that?”
- Reporter: “On the internet.”
Sorenson reported Burks is “not expected to play the rest of the season.” Snyder was asked about Burks being “shut down completely.”
Those are two different things.
The Jazz could both expect Burks to miss the rest of the season and leave open the possibility of him beating the odds.
Was Snyder parsing that difference? I don’t know, but he attended Duke law school. Lawyers are trained to see the difference in wording.
Utah is battling for a playoff spot, and Burks would help. His absence has allowed Rodney Hood to break out, but putting Burks in the rotation would supplant the less productive Chris Johnson. Burks needn’t be better than Hood to make the Jazz better. If they make the playoffs – which seems more likely than not, with or without Burks – Burks could help them challenge a first-round foe.
Will Burks return in time to contribute this season? Based on all these conflicting and semi-conflicting reports, I have no idea.