Point 3: The idea that Devin Booker’s statistics prove this style of play with Chris Paul won’t work is, at best, incomplete and, at worst, a false narrative.
It’s true Booker’s general shooting numbers are down, year-over-year. Through 14 games, Booker is putting up 22.9 points per game, down from his 26.6 ppg average from the past two seasons.
Also down are his field-goal and free-throw percentage, his rebounds and assists and 3-point percentage. And his turnovers are up.
Every day they spend together, Chris Paul and Booker will improve on the shaky early returns.
But is there anyone who doubts Booker’s star quality? The idea that Booker will continue to struggle — and “struggle” is a loose definition for a guy scoring 23 points per game in the NBA — is an unpopular notion.
He’ll be fine and, even without Booker’s best, the Suns, who are enjoying a lofty position among the NBA power rankings, look every bit a playoff team in a few other key metrics, via Basketball Reference.
The Suns haven’t forgotten how to shoot. They’re ninth in True Shooting Percentage (FGs, FTs and 3s) after finishing seventh last season.
And they’re still a formidable offensive force, ranking 11th in Offensive Rating (last season they were 12th).
Although its fans have seen some sloppy half-court passing, Phoenix is now among the leaders in taking care of the ball. The Suns are seventh in lowest Turnover Percentage at 12.2 after finishing 17th in that category last season.
If the offensive cohesiveness keeps meshing — and it certainly should, given Paul’s track record as an elite point guard — the worries of Paul and Booker not being a good fit can be tossed aside.