Finally, in the situation that he was presented, with the pass drawing him closer to half court but still over five seconds remaining, Devin Booker needs to always consider his quickness and drive to the hole.
Players have ran further in less time than he had with the time there, and yet it didn’t even appear to be a consideration.
Not only that, but he said after the game that he was thinking of the fact that he might miss which would give an offensive rebound opportunity.
However, two thoughts weren’t considered there:
1. (I learned this from Dennis Rodman, the best rebounder of the last 50 years), “Long shot, long rebound.”
There was never going to be a quick put back if he is putting the shot up from 35 feet. The literal rebound of the rubber of the ball off the rim was going to cause it to carom off with quite the distance if it were long (as he apparently knows his shots can be), and it was not going to take a quick dart towards the floor if short, or a sharp dart out (potentially, directly into a teammate’s hands) if straight off the front of the rim).
Eddie Johnson even spoke in awe during the telecast of how incredibly adept Booker is at concentrating on his shot even when hit and off balance.
Secondly, this was his game to win or lose.
Devin Booker knows that the whole Valley of the Suns loves him.
Steve Nash may have made a bigger impact on each game, but no player has been more of a go-to player in franchise-history than Charles Barkley, and for those of us who watched Barkley with Phoenix, we know that the end of the game was his an no one else’s, so forget “offensive rebounds,” it was either Booker’s game to win or lose and no one else under any circumstances.
And the fan base is fine with that point of view.
He needed to grab that victory (or loss) by the throat, and do not let go.
Book knows this – and should have taken it into consideration.
Therefore, at least, for Devin Booker: Lesson Learned – probably the most important lesson learned of anyone on that roster and the coaching staff.
When his teammates finally answered the bell that he had been ringing throughout the third quarter, Devin Booker had dragged his team back from the brink of annihilation.
And yet, Monty Williams should have drawn up a better play, and Booker himself should have done something more with it than he did. These are all lessons learned, ones that will absolutely make the Phoenix Suns a better team starting…now.