3 keys for the Phoenix Suns to win Game 3

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

Key #1: Use Devin Booker as the primary screener

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer made the right decision to limit their on-ball switching and to send over an extra help defender to prevent Deandre Ayton from finishing at the rim. In Game 2, the unintended consequence of Milwaukee’s overtly aggressive help defense was that Suns players got several wide open three-pointers, especially Devin Booker.

Booker as the primary screener confused Milwaukee’s defense several times. Milwaukee inexplicably left Devin Booker open for several wide open three-pointers because their defensive scheme was too focused on stopping Paul’s dribble penetration. PJ Tucker needlessly helped on Chris Paul while Booker simply popped to the top of the key for an easy three-pointer.

Booker is an excellent screener and has a knack for quickly finding open space on the court. Also, Milwaukee switched several off-ball actions involving Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. I expect them to not switch any off-ball screens in Game 3. Booker as the primary screener will free up Chris Paul to attack the basket. Milwaukee knows they cannot afford to help off Booker and using him as the screener will force Paul’s man to fight through the screen without any help.

I would also keep running the Spain pick-and-roll action, in which Ayton sets a ball screen for Paul and then Booker sets a back screen on Ayton’s man. As NBA.com breaks down, Milwaukee still has no answer to stop this play. Whenever they find an answer, Booker and Paul can simply take their man off the dribble and get any shot they want.