New York Knicks Trey Burke
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

There hasn’t been much for New York Knicks fans to cheer for since the All-Star break. Despite the loss, Trey Burke gave New Yorkers something to cheer about Monday night.

The New York Knicks quickly fell out of the playoff race following Kristaps Porzingisinjury and the games have been difficult to watch. They have only won four of 16 games since the All-Star break and they have been blown out in a number of those games. Last night, Trey Burke gave Knicks fans something to cheer about, albeit in a loss.

In what was only his second start of the season, Burke went off for a career-high 42 points on 61 percent shooting. He also added in 12 assists so he was finding his teammates in addition to creating his own shot. His game is reminiscent of The Answer, Allen Iverson. From his diminutive stature to his step-back mid-range jumper, he could easily be mistaken for a poor man’s AI.

Burke played 41 minutes and went toe to toe with Kemba Walker down the stretch of this one. Walker would get the last laugh after getting hot late and helping the Hornets take the game in overtime. He was thrust into a more prominent role after an illness kept Emmanuel Mudiay out of the action and foul trouble limited Frank Ntilikina to just 18 minutes. Sidenote: Ntilikina was subject to a few questionable calls that put a damper on one of the better offensive performances of his career.

Among qualified point guards, Burke ranks seventh in Player Efficiency Rating. To be clear, PER is a seriously flawed statistic and it shouldn’t be the sole metric to evaluate players. But the other players in the top 10 should not be overlooked. James Harden, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Kemba Walker, Kyle Lowry, and Ben Simmons are the other players rounding out the top 10. Say what you want about the statistic, Burke is in good company.

There are certainly problems with Burke’s game. He needs to improve defensively and the mid-range shot is a focal point of his game. Both of these facts are concerns going forward, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Earlier this season, I wrote about the Knicks need to call up Burke to see what they have. Finally, we’re starting to figure that out.

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