Trey Burke was one of the sweetest stories in the league last year, from dropping out entirely after being a high pick to dropping a 40/10 game on the unsuspecting heads of all his haters. All the people who had been ragging on him for being a bust-like substance turned face and started talking about how they actually really did enjoy him taking a bunch of midrange jumpers and looking like Allen Iverson.
As they say, the carriage has turned back into a pumpkin. He can still do things like he did last year, but their frequency is greatly reduced and interspersed with injuries and straight-up DNPs. The Knicks’ guard rotation is really messed up right now, filled to the brim with intriguing but flawed players, including a similar reclamation project in Emmanuel Mudiay and do-nothing long-limbed specimen named Frank Ntilikina. Both those players have taken minutes from Burke this year. Burke has sometimes taken them back.
This 25-point game could represent a turning point in Burke’s season, the point where the Knicks decide that Mudiay is still one of the worst players in the league despite his numbers (and is injured anyway) and Ntilikina doesn’t get to play until he decides he’s not scared of shooting anymore. That’s one thing that Burke really likes to do and knows how to do: shoot the ball. Most of the time, that shooting is midrange stepback jimbos, but hey, you take what you can get.