Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell are constantly compared, but right now, Booker is the better player.
People love to debate who is better between Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker and Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. Both are young guards with a knack for scoring the ball whenever and however they want to. Most stats favor Booker, but team success has always favored Mitchell. But this year, Booker is starting to further set himself apart.
Booker and Mitchell often receive the same criticism. People love to say they can’t defend or pass and that all they do is score points on high volume shooting. People say they don’t help their teams win. This was mostly silly all of last season, but this season, especially in the Jazz’s last game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Mitchell very much played to this criticism.
On Friday night, Mitchell managed to get up 35 shots in 33 minutes of action. That’s an impressive dedication to taking a lot of shots. Unfortunately, he seems less dedicated to making them, as he hit just 13 of those 35, going 37.1 percent from the field. Of his 22 misses, ten were from behind the three point line, where he went 1 for 11 for 9.1 percent. Perhaps most impressively, he had zero assists.
That put Mitchell in pretty astounding territory. This comparison to Carmelo Anthony gave everyone a pretty good laugh.
Carmelo Anthony with half the scoring isn’t something anyone would want to be known as, but that’s what Mitchell was last night. He’s also been pretty inefficient for the entire season.
Booker, meanwhile, has provided pretty solid scoring for the Suns. He currently sits 17th in the league in points per game at 23.3, and he’s 16th in field goals attempted per game. Compare that to Mitchell, who is 22nd in scoring but 11th in shots.
Booker has also been far superior when it comes to passing. He’s currently 16th in the NBA in assists per game at 6.9, compared to Mitchell’s 4.0 that ranks him 53rd. That’s a huge difference.
The Phoenix Suns still are at the bottom of the Western Conference, which isn’t all that surprising. But the Jazz have severely underperformed. After winning a playoff series last season, many expected the talented young Jazz to contend for the Western Conference finals. But so far this season, they’re just 7-8, and a lot of that falls on Mitchell’s poor play.
Mitchell is still better in a few areas. While neither is a particularly good defender, Mitchell is a bit better, and he turns the ball over less too. Devin Booker is also inconsistent when it comes to bringing effort every night, although a lot of that can be traced back to the fact that the Suns aren’t competitive in many of games. But even with those things considered, Booker has still been the more effective player this season.
The debate will continue, and some people will never like either. In reality, they’re both good basketball players, and social media shows they clearly respect each other. The rivalry is one between fan bases, not players. Things could change, but as they stand right now, Devin Booker is a better player than Donovan Mitchell, and the Phoenix Suns are lucky to have him.