Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker has improved every year, and it seems as if he’s found the playmaking touch this season
The Phoenix Suns haven’t punched a ticket to the NBA Playoffs since the 2010 season and have really struggled to be relevant since the Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire days. The high-flying offense we saw a decade ago has been almost nonexistent.
However, with fourth year player Devin Booker leading the charge, we are closer to seeing the Suns return to NBA relevancy.
When Booker was drafted 13th overall to Phoenix in 2015, there was no doubt the former Kentucky Wildcat could put the ball in the basket. Even if the defense and maturity wasn’t developed, at least the kid could score. That being said, Booker has recently taken this criticism and has turned himself into one of the most feared players in the league.
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Something NBA coaches expect from their players every night is consistency. It’s an underrated trait and it assures a coach or a fanbase that a player will come prepared every night. If a player comes as advertised, it takes immense pressure off of his teammates and makes the coaches game plan that much easier.
It’s safe to say Booker fits right into this description and delivers on a nightly basis. In just his second and third seasons, he’s put up more than 22 points per game in each and has already eclipsed 26 a game to start this season.
Not just the points, but his offensive arsenal is the smooth and crisp kind that makes defenses shake their heads every night.
Critics around the league have seen his skills and have still yearned for more. He can shoot and finish, but the ability to get others involved has been questioned. In the first 11 games of this season, we’ve seen Booker take command of a struggling offense. His 6.4 assists per game shows his ability to be an impactful player with his vision and creativity. It also takes the pressure off of his scoring because he knows if his shots aren’t falling, he can still make a difference in other ways.
The only downfall to Booker’s playmaking this season is the 4.9 turnovers per game. However, those mishaps will decrease with experience and practice. The Suns management have also added new players on the team so it will take some valuable time to gel on both sides of the ball, Deandre Ayton and Trevor Ariza among them.
Two key traits that brighten Booker’s game are his free throws and clutch accountability. We’ve seen stars from years past and today be criticized for their struggles at the charity stripe. This shouldn’t be a problem for Booker this season and for his career as he’s hovered around the mid to high 80s for his career.
In terms of clutch, we’ve already seen Booker connect on one game winner this season. Due to his fearless drive and willingness to succeed, we can be sure he’ll have the ball in his hands all season in the waning moments.
The Phoenix Suns are at the bottom of the Western Conference to begin the 2018-19 season, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change. No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton has proven to be a threat from multiple areas on the court alongside Booker and with other young talent to focus on in orange and purple, look for the Suns to be a skilled and hungry team moving forward.