Phoenix Suns: How Can Devin Booker Bounce Back? Attack Beverley

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Phoenix Suns knew coming into this Western Conference Finals series against the Los Angeles Clippers that they would have to deal with Patrick Beverley and his defense and bothering antics on the court.

Devin Booker has dealt with it more than most, unfortunately.

After his stellar 40-point triple-double in Game 1 even without Chris Paul in the backcourt, Booker’s numbers have significantly dropped due to one primary reason: Beverley’s defense.

Booker shot 15-29 in Game 1; however, he has not been close to shooting 50 percent in Games 2 or 3. Instead, he has gone a combined 10-36 from the field since Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue inserted Beverley into the starting lineup, doing so first to start of Game 2.

The “menace” and first-team all-defense player in Beverley has certainly gotten the best of Booker in the last two games. He has utilized every tool he has to slow Booker down—even head-butting and breaking Booker’s nose.

As Game 4 is set for tonight at 7 p.m. MT in Los Angeles, one key task the Suns need to focus on is getting Beverley into foul trouble early to free up their primary scorer in Booker.

We all have seen some of the foul calls many stars have been getting throughout these playoffs. Trae Young provides a perfect example, often lunging forward into defenders and bouncing off as if the defender committed a flagrant 1 foul. The Suns and their guards need to take advantage of this as well.

It isn’t everyone’s favorite style of play—to just search for fouls—but it is a tactic that could help the Suns and their young superstar bounce back in Game 4 tonight, especially if it allows Phoenix to eliminate Beverley from the game due to foul trouble.

What this does should be obvious to all Suns fans. It gives Booker some space on the offensive side of the floor, assuming no other defender on the Clippers will constantly be in Booker’s grill like Beverley has been.

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It’s easier said than done, like most things, but I could see head coach Monty Williams and the Suns applying this tactic into their game plan. If so, maybe, just maybe, we see another 30+ point performance from the 24-year-old superstar, Booker.