Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker is the Best Player Left in NBA Playoffs

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

Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker is better than Giannis Antetokounmpo

Beginning with the most difficult star for most to place Booker above, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks now own the best odds to win a title at +105 after vanquishing the heavily injured, yet still intimidating Brooklyn Nets following a brutal seven-game series. At this moment during the postseason, Antetokounmpo averages 28.8 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 5.1 assists, while committing 3.6 turnovers per game.

Only within the rebounding department does Antetokounmpo possess an advantage over Booker, but that comes as something more than expected given his superior size and position as a player down along the block. But even at a quick glance before diving into some more advanced analytics, Booker already seems like the more dangerous player given his superior scoring, ability to find his teammates for points, and ability to protect the rock.

Although incredibly dominant down low, Antetokounmpo nonetheless struggles from nearly everywhere else offensively. Meanwhile, Booker remains a threat to score from anywhere, making him the far more versatile piece.

You should not need this article to tell you that Antetokounmpo absolutely reeks from outside and the free throw line compared to Booker, or almost anyone else for that matter, shooting 19.1 percent on threes and 53.8 percent from the charity stripe. But each player’s true shooting percentage reveals that even despite Antetokounmpo’s brilliance inside, Booker’s wide-spread scoring talents outweigh the latter, with Booker owning a 61.6 true shooting percentage, and Antetokounmpo behind him at 56.0 percent. Scoring rate, passing abilities, possession protection, efficiency, and versatility all tip Booker’s way, making him the far better offensive talent.

However, we know Antetokounmpo’s strength lies elsewhere as a former Defensive Player of the Year. Contrarily, Booker’s defensive efforts often go scoffed at and discredited. But although the numbers reflect Giannis owns an advantage over Booker as a defender, this defensive gap between the two goes easily exceeded by the one already established on the offensive end.

Holding his opponents to a 42.1 field goal percentage, those guarded by Booker actually score less efficiently than those guarded by Antetokounmpo, whose opponents post a 43.6 field goal percentage. For the crowd arguing that Antetokounmpo just caught a tough break having to guard Kevin Durant last round, it was actually PJ Tucker who primarily covered Durant during the entire series, excusing that ideology up front.

Additionally, both Antetokounmpo and Booker currently rank top six in defensive win shares, endorsing Booker as a defender almost as valuable as Antetokounmpo, despite defense being the Greek Freak’s forte. All-around, this points to Booker as the more complete, and therefore better player.