Warriors coming to realize Alec Burks is dependable scorer this season


Warriors coming to realize Alec Burks is dependable scorer this season

MEMPHIS -- Warriors guard Marquese Chriss had a direct distinction for his teammate Alec Burks following a 114-95 win over Memphis Tuesday evening. 

"He's a bucket," the forward admitted. 

For the last month, Burks has been inciting similar reactions from much of the Warriors' battered lockerroom. In the wake, he is averaging career numbers as the Warriors search for continuity in their roster.  

On Tuesday, he continued towards the trend, scoring 17 of his team-high 29 points in the first half, adding eight rebounds in 36 minutes. He got started four minutes into the first quarter, draining a fadeaway over Grizzlies rookie Ja Maront. Seven minutes later, he used an Omari Spellman screen to gain space beyond the arc, before draining a 3-pointer. 

With less than three minutes left in the half, he drove baseline, temporarily lost possession of the ball, before finishing over the outstretched arms of Grizzlies seven-footer Jonas Valanciunas, impressing teammates along the way. 

"I told him at halftime, 'you're nice, bro.' Chriss said. "Some of the stuff he be doing, I just be like 'wow.'" 

Seeds of Burks potential were evident in 2011, when he Utah Jazz selected Burks 12th overall -- a pick after Klay Thompson. In the next five seasons, Burks averaged 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists, later signing a four-year, $42 million with the Jazz in 2014. Along the way, Burks incrementally improved his shooting percentage from 42 percent his rookie year to 45 percent in 2014.

"I definitely knew he could score," Green said. "When he's been on any team, he comes off the bench and he gets it going. Going downhill, getting to the basket and I think he's definitely improved his jump shot. 

However, a series of stress fractures limited Burks to just 100 games from 2014 through 2016, and he has not played at least 75 games in a season since 2013-14. Last year, Burks was traded three times and finished the year with the Kings. In 13 games with Sacramento, he averaged just 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists. 

Following a rollercoaster season, Burks agreed to a deal with the Thunder to join the duo of George and Russell Westbrook in July. After George and Westbrook left town via trades, the Thunder allowed Burks to back out of his deal following the trade, he signed a one-year, veteran's minimum deal with the Warriors. 

Despite missing all of training camp with an ankle injury, Burks has become a dependable scorer for Golden State, averaging 13.5 points through 11 games. Two weeks ago in Houston, he scored 28 points, adding eight rebounds, showing his promise.

In the last month, Curry broke his hand, sidelining the guard until at least February. Two nights later, forward Green tore a ligament in his left index finger. Last week, two-way guard Damion Lee fractured his hand. All the while, Burks has become a viable offensive weapon, averaging 14.8 points through 12 games. 

"I don't think he had the same freedom he has now to attack all the time," Chriss said. "So I think it's nice to see him get comfortable and be able to get into a groove."

[RELATED: Doncic developing into superstar as clash with Warriors looms]

Four months ago, Burks came to Golden State to revitalize his career. Now, through the first month of the season, he's done that and much more with the opportunity.  

"He's a great teammate and a great guy to coach," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We're lucky to have him."

Steve Kerr uses viral dog and cat video to make fun of his NBA career

Steve Kerr uses viral dog and cat video to make fun of his NBA career

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is good at the whole self-deprecation thing.

And he proved it again late Sunday night with an eight-word tweet.

This judge gives the eight-time NBA champion a perfect 10 out of 10.

Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds -- without much leaping ability -- Kerr wasn't exactly known for being a lock-down defender.

Listen and subscribe to the Runnin' Plays Podcast:

But the No. 50 overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft was able to stick in the league for 15 seasons because of his incredible 3-point shooting (45.4 percent for his career), his ability to take care of the basketball (0.6 turnovers per game) and leadership skills.

[RELATED: Why Kerr isn't doing video calls with his Warriors players]

Hey coach -- for the sake of content, can you start tweeting more often?

Please and thank you.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Warriors’ NBA draft lottery picks since 1990, ranked from worst to best

Warriors’ NBA draft lottery picks since 1990, ranked from worst to best

It's been a while since the Warriors had an NBA draft pick in the lottery.

But due to Kevin Durant's departure and injuries to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors own the worst record in the NBA and will have one of the top picks in the 2020 draft.

Before general manager Bob Myers and the Warriors' front office add a top talent to the roster, let's look back at all the lottery picks the franchise has made since 1990.

From Tyrone Hill in 1990 to Harrison Barnes in 2012, here are the Warriors' last 17 lottery picks ranked from worst to best.