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

So who or what is to blame?

Prior to the All-Star Break, Booker had been apparently snubbed, and his idol, Kobe Bryant, had been lost.

In those final three games, Booker’s game took a turn for the worse, somewhat  acceptably, averaging 19.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, while shooting just 30.6% from the field and 25.0% from beyond the arc.

Terrible numbers – by his standards.

However, since the break, he has not only been given the chance to appropriately mourn, but he eventually received the accolades that he truly did deserve with a position on the All-Star Game roster as well as his 3-point contest participation.

His numbers took a tick up in the first three games back (which included two wins at Chicago and Utah), as he put up 24.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists, shooing 43.9% from the field, 42.1% from 3, and 94.1% from the charity stripe – only to dip back down in these last three losses sans Oubre:

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

20.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 40.4% from the field, 31.6% from 3, and 86.7% from the charity stripe.

It is fine to blame the roster itself for not only not being good or deep enough as to why Booker is having difficulty (that is primarily on Robert Sarver, although James Jones is culpable seeing as how he could have made a major splash before the trade deadline but chose not to).

It is fine to blame the loss of Kelly Oubre – although his skills are not  that of a primary go-to player and should never be counted on as anything more than a run-of-the-mill scorer.

It is fine to blame the need to continue to wait for the development of Deandre Ayton, although has  been making strides this season, and while is still not a dominant  player, in the three post-Oubre games, Ayton is averaging 21.7 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, while shooting 58.0% from the field on 16.7 attempts per game – all of which are above his season averages.

It is fine to blame Ricky Rubio for not being an offensive threat considering that he is a below averaging shooter from all areas of the court (although in these last three games, his field goal shooting (not his 3-point shooting), scoring, assists, and steals averages are each over his season-averages as well).

It is also fine to blame Monty Williams for not strategically finding a way to make  Devin Booker a greater offensive focal point in these last few games, and thus arguably hand-cuffing Book’s ability to  take over.

Yet in the end, the Phoenix Suns have lost three consecutive winnable  games, and Booker has not found it within himself to pull  his team over the hump in any of them.

Is Booker pouting on some level because he is tired of losing in general?

Is he pulling a Kobe Bryant and showing that his team needs more help (although Kobe only made an in-game statement for two quarters  and not over the course of multiple games)?

Is Booker becoming a bit worn down because he basically has  been carrying his team for the last 4+ seasons?

Or has he mentally checked out of this season?

Or worse – this franchise?

Next. Two reasons the Phoenix Suns absolutely need Kelly Oubre to play again this season. dark

While the playoffs had seemed to have been nothing but a pipe dream, winning those last two games would have put the Phoenix Suns in a virtual tie for 9th place in the Western Conference and only three games out of the playoffs. At that point, anything  could have happened.

Instead, they are five games out, and Devin Booker couldn’t find it within himself to make his team winners in two games they absolutely should  and easily could  have won. Maybe he needs this season over more than anybody – although hopefully though it’s not so that he can demand to finally move on.