The next time, Devin Booker should be in at the end of the All-Star Game

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The NBA’s new All-Star game format was a blast. However, Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker was missing throughout most of the best part: the fourth quarter. He should be in at the end, from now on.

The Phoenix Suns have one of the most “clutch” players in the league in Devin Booker, a situation he thrives in – and loves.

However, he wasn’t on the court for the majority of the fourth quarter, especially in crunch time when the starters got to play the end of the game out – which is to be expected (although Luka Doncic didn’t get that time in favor of bananaboat friend, Chris Paul – who arguably shouldn’t have been there in favor of Booker).

But Book is the kind of player that teams want  on the court at the end of games, as those situations in which the game is on the line and he needs to score points, like now,  is exactly what he does best.

It makes sense that this year he didn’t get that kind of run late in the fourth quarter because he was neither a voted-in starter, nor was he even selected by the coaches.

As a last-second injury replacement, Booker was “lucky” to even be there (although Phoenix Suns fans know that he absolutely should  have been there with the coaches selections), and thus wasn’t likely to get in ahead of even the second players on the original depth chart.

What is fantastic though about this moment in time though is that Devin Booker is officially an All-Star. Regardless of how he got in, not only was  he on the roster (something that can never be taken away from him), but he got to play, which only enhances his already burgeoning resume.

For a player as uber talented as Booker is, this is also only the start – he just needs a little help from his franchise.

If James Jones is able to continue to put together a competitive franchise this offseason, and the young talent around him continues to develop in the right ways, then the Phoenix Suns are going to be a significantly better team next season than they are now.

Should they be handily in the playoffs come All-Star time 2021 (and Booker is of course putting up the gaudy numbers that he has been for these past 2+ seasons), then he will get that much more national recognition – especially being an already one-time All-Star.

If this is the case, then Book should also be in a position to be in the game near the end – especially if clutch play really matters.

Of course, depending on the team he would be playing for, he is going to be forced to defer to LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo, but his teammates also won’t be afraid to defer to him if he is in the position to take a game-winning shot and they’re being heavily guarded as one would expect (notice that it wasn’t LeBron who was in the position to take the final shot for even his team).

Devin Booker can only play so well (and he already is fantastic), and he can only win so many games when the team around him isn’t very good – which hurts his national credibility (especially since the Phoenix Suns are never on national television games anymore so fans do not really get to see him outside of the couple of times that he plays against their home teams).

But if the franchise makes a solid turnaround this offseason, which pushes him in the right direction and makes him more of the national figure that the franchise wishes him to be (and that he deserves), he’ll not only get the respect that other star players in Phoenix Suns history have received, and be selected to the game on the first try, but he’ll also have a much better shot of being in the game when it matters.

Next. A Devin Booker All-Star conspiracy theory. dark

And who knows: maybe he’ll even have the opportunity to take the last shot.