Where Has Trey Burke Been?

Justin Grasso

There's nothing quite like the disappearing act of Philadelphia 76ers players while under the management of Brett Brown. A lot of the time, Brown's rotations seem strange, and they don't typically make a lot of sense in the eyes of the fans.

Lately, the Sixers backup point guards have found this fact out as Brown seems somewhat indecisive on who he wants to play as the backup point guard on a regular basis. During the preseason, Coach Brown allowed a handful of guys to battle it out for the spot.

Raul Neto, Trey Burke, and even Josh Richardson were granted an opportunity to win over the backup point guard position for when Ben Simmons is off the floor. It seemed as if Brown was pushing hard for Richardson to earn it first, but it became clear that shooting guard is where the former Miami Heat veteran belongs.

Therefore, it became more about Neto and Burke. Both guys have had their fair share of minutes in the NBA previously on different squads, so they were more than prepared to battle for the spot. Initially, Neto won because he offered better value on defense.

But eventually, Brown wanted to experiment with Burke, who is more of a scorer. For a little while, Burke was giving the Sixers some valuable production off the bench, but over the last two games, Brown has elected to roll with Neto once again. Why is that?

"Some of it is gut feel," Brown said after issuing Neto eleven minutes off the bench while keeping Burke on ice once again Wednesday night. "Some of it is the notion. I don't want some of our players to rot. I want to keep them alive."

All last week, Neto remained sidelined until garbage time, while Burke picked up the official backup minutes. Lately, though, Brown has flipped the situation around. Neto has been playing backup for the last two matchups, while Burke hasn't seen the court since last Saturday.

The Sixers head coach wouldn't reveal who will get minutes on Friday night against the New York Knicks just yet. If the decision will come based on matchups, though, Burke seems like the more logical option. Considering he put up nine points against the Knicks last week, the Sixers already know that he can produce in that matchup.

Plus, Neto hasn't precisely offered much on the offensive side of the ball anyway. Over the last two games he's played, the backup guard has only contributed five total points after taking only four shots from the field. It's understandable that Coach Brown picks defense over offense more often than not -- but the Sixers desperately need the scoring production off the bench at times. Burke offers the best option for that.