The Phoenix Suns need Devin Booker literally carry the team’s offense

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Derrick Rose (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Derrick Rose (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Devin Booker has all but disappeared in his last three games

Granted the Clippers have three of the league’s biggest bull dog defenders in Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverly, but in a game that L.A. obviously knew they could breeze through and still win, the Suns only lost by 10 points, and Booker (who actually finished with a +2) scored only 14 points with 10 assists.

While great defenders (and great defenses in general) can  shut down mediocre players, Devin Booker isn’t mediocre.  He is a great scorer and is very capable of going off against even the league’s best on ball defenders.

We have all seen him make some of the most ridiculous circus shots ever attempted, and he seems to be able to do so with ease. We also know that with his propensity to drive, he has the capability to get to the line with tremendous regularity, helping to offset the possibility of not having as many open shot as he would prefer.

Yet, with his field goal attempts not falling (5-19 from the field and 1-8 from beyond the arc), he still only attempted 3 free throws. Never once did he appear to decide to put his team on his shoulders; never once did it appear that he was going to believe that he  could overcome the two stars on his own – which many an individual star has been able to do in the past.

Then came the lowly Detroit Pistons.

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On paper one might think “26 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, not only is that not a bad night, but that’s right at his average across the board!”

But in a game that the Phoenix Suns absolutely had  to win – why wasn’t it 36 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists? Why didn’t Booker demand  that his team came out on top and pull out all the stops for victory?

Ricky Rubio had a fantastic fourth quarter (5-7 from the field for 12 points and 3 assists), and Booker was tied with the team-high +8 in only 8:53. But why did he only attempt 4 shots? Why did he only finish with 6 points?

Where was the killer desire to demand  that his team not lose and carry  then over the finish line?

Why was it that ancient Derrick Rose had 13 points in 8 field goal attempts, and broken down/washed up Brandon Knight had 11 on 7?

Then finally came the loss to the Golden States Warriors – by far the worst of the three.

Not that Booker was the “weak link” by any means, but he had the worst field goal percentage of any Suns starter (37.5% on 6-16 shooting), attempted only 5 free throws (although he made all 5, it was the same number of attempts as Deandre Ayton – which says something – Marquese Chriss attempted 8 for the Warriors making 5), had 0 assists (for the second time all season (a 1 point loss to the Utah Jazz in their fourth game of the year on October 28 – Chriss had 3 and Dragan Bender had 4), and had a team-worst -22 (with Ayton second-worst at -18, with Chriss a +15 and Bender a +8).

Book scored 3 points, 5 points, 9 points, and 4 points in each quarter.

The team scored 41, 24, 16, and 18.

Again, where was the franchise’s lone All-Star when his team needed him most, putting the offense on his back and carrying  them over the finish line against the league’s worst team?

4 points  in the fourth quarter against the worst team in the NBA?? A team that STARTED Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender, two Phoenix Suns castoffs???