Phoenix Suns postseason push impact players: Devin Booker
2. Devin Booker. The heartbeat of the Suns, he’s so bent on reaching the playoffs you can feel it with every drive to the basket, with every clutch shot attempt, with every small step of improvement in his defensive game.
No doubt Chris Paul helps relieve some of that troubling and oppressive pressure he must be feeling, but he’s always been accountable and is maturing every day. He is unafraid of criticism and he’s confident of his ability to carry the Suns.
While Booker can do just about everything well, he’ll have to continue to be careful not to force things.
His scoring is down and his turnovers are up. Booker is a full five points off his scoring average from the past two seasons, during which he put up 26.6 points per game and he is averaging 4.8 turnovers per game.
The rocky start has one more culprit: free-throw shooting. Unless he has caught a permanent case of the yips from the line, though, the expectation is for the current 77 percent to reach the high 80s by the time the season winds down. Booker hit 91 percent last season.
For the very few Suns fans who are worried, Booker’s past four games indicate he’s probably going to be just fine. He’s producing an average of 24 points, 5.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds during that span, hitting 52.5 percent of his field-goal attempts and 40 percent 3-point range.
His heat-check bucket from just about the logo during the Suns’ victory over Toronto on Wednesday night proved that confidence will not be an issue.