Good evening and welcome to the first Rickbazz Burhammad post of 2014.
In this weekly, season-long series, we look at point guard Trey Burke's progress in Utah, while we compare him to current Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio and buried-on-the-bench rookie Shabazz Muhammad.
Why? Glad you asked.
If you recall draft day 2013, the Wolves took Burke, then, since Rubio holds down Minnesota's point guard spot, swapped Burke for two picks. Those ended up being Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.
So, in this triple-threat of hoops hysteria, we compare Burke, whom the Wolves could've held onto, to Rubio, who they got rid of him in favor of, and Muhammad, who they received for him.
Let's call it a checks and balances of accountability for a deal that we feel may bite Minnesota in the rear end when things are said and done.
Heck, if you look at our previous installments, it already has.
Here's the most recent update on the three.
TREY BURKE: In another eventful week for the rookie, Burke extended his double-digit scoring streak to six games, culminating with a 96-87 win over Milwaukee last night.
This past Saturday and Monday though, were his true cornerstone moments since we last came to you.
On Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers, Burke tallied 12 points and six assists, and despite shooting only 4-of-14 from the field, legendary Clipper coach Doc Rivers said he was impressed by the Michigan alum after the game.
From the in-love-with-Burke Salt Lake Tribune: "I don't want to put a comparison on him because that's the worst thing you can do," he said. "But there are guards who can score. There are guards who are just play makers. Then there is that rare group that can do both. Chris [Paul] is one of those guys. … I think Trey Burke is going to be that."
Monday, Burke dropped 21 points on the Bobcats, the final of which came with 19 seconds left on a driving layup that would seal the 83-80 victory.
Not a bad way to send out 2013, and starting 2014 with a win has to feel just as good.
SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD: The UCLA rookie is perfect on the 2014 year, appearing for two minutes in Minnesota's 124-112 win over New Orleans and making one shot on one attempt.
Savor the moment Wolves fans.
In the two other blowout wins for Minnesota since we last came to you, Shabazz also got time, going a combined 1-for-2 from the floor for two points in six minutes of game time.
On the year, Muhammad has yet to record an assist in 42 minutes, and is a robust 4-of-16 from the floor.
For that, word came out just a few hours ago Shabazz will go to the developmental league, a seemingly smart move for the rookie to get some more playing time.
RICKY RUBIO: Ricky finished the month of December shooting just 33 percent from the floor, and while Burke has scored in double figures each of his last six games, Rubio has done it just six times since December began.
That being said, the Spaniard nearly notched a triple-double in his first game of 2014, leading Minnesota to a 124-112 win over the Pelicans with 14 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds.
We certainly hope 2014 goes like the first game of the year, rather than how 2013 unfolded for the third-year point guard.
SUMMARY: Burke impresses legends, Shabazz appears in multiple games (alert the media), and Ricky off to a nice start in 2014. More later.