Devin Booker needs to play all 48min a game for the Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker Phoenix Suns (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Devin Booker Phoenix Suns (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns fans want to see a couple of wins before the end of the season, and they need Devin Booker on the court at all times to do so.

The Phoenix Suns are going to lock up the number one odds in this summer’s NBA Draft Lottery at some point over the next few days.

Any combination of Phoenix losses and Chicago Bulls wins that equals two will guarantee just that.

But with five games remaining, and Devin Booker on the craziest scoring tear Phoenix Suns fans have ever witnessed, we still want to see as many wins as possible down the stretch, and Devin Booker is the key.

Well, duh, you might say. Devin Booker is definitely the key. He is by far the best player on the team and right now he is a scoring machine outscoring any two of Phoenix’s opponent’s top scorers.

But it is more than that.

Aside from the one night in Boston, Devin Booker has never played with such a dramatic intention to score as many points as he can while on the floor. He has seemingly changed his game out of nowhere; taken it to another level; attempted to harness his inner James Harden.

He is of course still playing to win, most evidently by his continued willingness to pass the ball in contested situations in the fourth quarter, wanting open shots for his teammates more than a contested one for himself.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

With Booker’s uptick in scoring, the team is doing surprisingly well too (honestly to the point that one has to wonder why he hasn’t played with this kind of dedication to score throughout the entire season), as his personal efficiency is sky high.

His scoring spike is making up for the roster’s overall lack of talent right now (specifically with the losses of T.J. Warren, Kelly Oubre, and Tyler Johnson for the season), and keeping Phoenix in their last three games while the rest of the team tries to throw the outcome away.

And boy have they tried to.

Against the Utah Jazz when Booker dropped 59 points, the Phoenix Suns lost by 33 points.

Booker, though, had a +/-1 of -13, in 41 minutes. Meaning, that in the SEVEN  minutes he was off the court, his teammates were an astounding  -22.

In SEVEN minutes!!

I can not say that if Booker had played the full-48 that the Suns would have won since they were needs still losing when he was on the court, but I do feel very comfortable in saying that the final score would not have been as obtrusive as it was had he never sat down.

In his 50 point outing versus the Washington Wizards that the Suns lost by 3, Booker had a +/- of +8 in 36 minutes. Meaning that in the 12 minutes he was off the court, his teammates were a -11.

Finally, on Saturday March 30, when Booker dropped 48 points in the 5 points loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Book finished with a +/- of +1 in 42 minutes. A slim margin to be sure, but a -6 from his teammates none-the-less in just six minutes, obviously the deciding moments in that game.

Booker is young and healthy, he wants to win and he wants to put on a show. There is no reason for him to curtail the way he has been playing, and if anybody in the league has proven that this kind of play is successful it is the aforementioned Beard, who literally does it game in and game out.

Certainly in games where the Suns are being blown out as they were against the Jazz, I wouldn’t expect Booker to play all 48min (although they weren’t being blown out when he was on the court and if he is making a run at another major scoring record I also wouldn’t be against him playing as much as possible in that situation either).

But in competitive games, having Booker on the court and scoring is going to be the team’s best bet at winning, and playing all 48min might be the only way to make that happen.

Selfishly too Suns fans want to continue to see Booker make runs at scoring records, and with Tom Chambers’ single-season scoring record now well within reach (Chambers averaged 27.2ppg in 1989-90 to which Book is only 154p away from breaking – an average of 30.72 points over the team’s final five games), if he could drop 50 another time or two – especially in wins – while also breaking the franchise’s single-season scoring record, that would be perfect for fans.

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The Phoenix Suns are five games away from ending this otherwise awful season in which they are on pace to fall just one game short of the franchise’s worst-ever regular season record of 16-66.

Devin Booker is about to have his fourth extended summer in four years in the NBA without the playoffs. To try and get the team a couple of more wins and to make up for the rest of the roster’s deficiencies before the year wraps up, Book should play all 48-minutes.