Knicks’ Alec Burks has the perfect response to being a secret weapon

Alexander Wilson
New York Knicks, Alec Burks
Apr 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New York Knicks guard Alec Burks (18) gets defended by Detroit Pistons guard Saben Lee (38) during the second quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Knicks signed 29-year-old guard Alec Burks to a one-year, $6 million deal, nobody expected him to be such an influential piece to the team. In fact, Burks has been one of the best players on the Knicks’ roster this season, averaging 12.6 points per game but regularly breaching 20 points over the past few days. Against the New Orleans Pelicans in the Knicks’ latest victory, Burks posted 21 points and seven total rebounds.

His influence varies, but when Burks is hitting shots efficiently, he is borderline unstoppable. He can create plays and instant offense for a team that lacks in the category. He also represents one of the best players in the fourth quarter for a team that has struggled to close out games this year. Burks detailed his approach toward the fourth quarter and why it’s so different than the rest.

“I think it’s the approach the coach takes earlier in the season, the fourth quarter is different than the other three quarters,’’ Burks said ahead of the Knicks facing the Mavericks on Friday in Dallas. “You got to bring your A-game because it’s going to be a physical quarter because everyone is trying to get the win. I’m trying to help my team any way I can.’’

When Alec decided to come to New York, it wasn’t about the notoriety or attention he would receive, it was about playing basketball for a great organization with a respected coach. He simply wants to win, and he envisioned his future as a playoff contender, a goal that seems likely during an unexpected season for New York.

“I don’t care — I’m not in this to be most popular,’’ said Burks. “I love the game, love helping my teammates. I just want to do what I can to help my team win and get a win out there and make it to the playoffs. I couldn’t care less about getting notoriety for it.’’

The Knicks currently rank sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, and if they can claw their way up to fourth place, which they’re only one game out of, they won’t have to play into the playoffs will have an automatic spot. Burks can keep producing at a high level and offering his instant offense in the fourth quarter, there’s no question the Knicks can do the impossible.