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Alec Burks Epitomizes Next Man Up For New York Knicks

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New York Knicks veteran guard Alec Burks could have had a better start to his second stint with the franchise. He was acquired along with Bojan Bogdanovic from the Detroit Pistons ahead of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline.

Expected to help bolster the bench and provide the Knicks with another ball-handler, Alec Burks struggled to find a rhythm. Playing all season for a team headed toward having the worst record in the NBA, the veteran guard wasn’t as locked in as the team needed him to be.

That resulted in Alec Burks losing his spot in the rotation. From March 25th on, he only saw the court because of injuries, as head coach Tom Thibodeau was going a different way with the rotation. You could not blame him, as the production from the veteran guard was non-existent.

In 23 regular season games, Burks shot 30.7 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from 3-point range, well below his career averages. But, with the team running on fumes and Thibodeau not having many other options, he called upon the veteran in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers.

With OG Anunoby sidelined because of a hamstring strain and Jalen Brunson hobbled, Thibodeau needed someone to soak up some minutes. Alec Burks answered the call and shocked everyone.

He looked like a new man compared to who we saw playing in the regular season. After not making an appearance in nearly a month, outside of 44 seconds in Game 2, Alec Burks provided the team with a much-needed spark.

Burks scored an efficient 14 points in 21:21 of action. In Game 4, with the New York Knicks getting blown out, he saw 23:03 and once again played well, scoring 20 points. In a must-win Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, he saved the best for last.

Burks knocked down five 3-pointers, including some big ones to stop the momentum of the Indiana Pacers. He was on the court for 23:21, helping New York to a blowout 121-91 victory with 18 points and a +19 plus/minus ratio. His shooting numbers are truly remarkable given the number of DNPs he racked up.

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