The Phoenix Suns got their second win, and just like the first, it was largely due to Devin Booker hitting multiple clutch shots.
The Phoenix Suns are far improved over last year, but they still might be the worst team in the West. That doesn’t mean they won’t win their fair share of games, but it does mean they’ll likely have to grind out some close games against good teams. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be an issue for Devin Booker.
The Suns are just 2-7, which isn’t great, but they’re 2-4 in games Booker has played. A .333 win percentage, if it could be sustained over a full season, would be far better than last year’s .256. Booker is an All-Stat caliber player, and he’s obviously important to the team’s success, as they haven’t won without him. But it goes even further than that.
Some guys impact the game in subtle ways that help their team win. That’s not Devin Booker. It’s not that he doesn’t do the little things, it’s that when the Suns win a game, his fingerprints are all over it.
On opening night against the Dallas Mavericks, as the Suns’ lead started to slowly slip away, Devin Booker nailed three pointer after three pointer, helping the Suns pull ahead for good. And against the Memphis Grizzlies, Devin Booker hit two go ahead shots in the final minute, the second of which ended up being the game winner. The Suns might not play many close games, but when they do, they can always count on Booker.
“Clutch” is a weird term. You can argue about how it should be measured, and you can argue about how significant a small, specific sample size actually is. It’s often used by people who think Kobe Bryant is the greatest basketball player to ever walk the planet, which has to diminish its value more than a little bit.
But there is something to be said about a player who seems to perform when it matters most. So far, Devin Booker has stepped up in the few close games the Phoenix Suns have played, but as they improve over time, they’ll be playing more and more close games. It’s nice to know they can count on Booker to make the big shot.