Devin Booker Will Have to be Great to Lead the Phoenix Suns to a Championship.

When Devin Booker first got drafted I remembered telling myself he would be an all-star caliber shooting guard much like Joe Johnson was for the Atlanta Hawks after they signed him to that massive 6-year deal in the mid 2000’s. Joe Johnson was a key piece to what the Phoenix Suns were building on a team spearheaded by budding superstars Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire who were two of the top 10 players in the league on the back end of the 2000’s. Till this day I wonder what if Joe Johnson had remained on the Phoenix Suns, they likely win a championship; and although the Suns replaced Joe Johnson with Grant Hill who was out of his prime but still delivering 15-30 a night and Jason Richardson who was a borderline all-star, they both never quite equated to what Joe Johnson brought to the table. Back to Devin Booker who with back to back blunders these past 2 seasons faces a situation in Phoenix where he will be tread-milling in the Valley of the Sun if he doesn’t morph into Kobe Bryant over the next few years.

I say Kobe Bryant because he is exactly who I thought of when I watched Devin Booker take on Giannis’s Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals. I thought to myself if Kobe Bryant had been in Devin Booker’s position in that Finals Giannis Antetokoumpo would be ringless at this very moment; but Devin Booker proved me right, much like I wrote about having my doubts about him ever being able to uplift the Phoenix Suns as a franchise. What was the conclusion of the 2021 NBA Finals? Exactly what I wrote about over a year ago, Deandre Ayton, he was an absolute no show; and I didn’t know whether to place the blame on head coach Monty Williams for not making adjustments throughout that series to get Deandre Ayton going or Devin Booker and Chris Paul for thinking they could take on the entire Bucks’s defense on their own and rally the Suns. Last season I’ll briefly just say it was a flat out disaster in a Game 7 in which I expected Devin Booker to put Luka Doncic back in his place; and show him his time will eventually come but it wasn’t going to come at his expense. Well, Luka Doncic came out firing with no regard for the Phoenix Suns and outscored the entire Suns team by himself by half-time.

Now the Phoenix Suns are the laughingstock of the NBA quite frankly, despite being one of the top 6 teams in the Western Conference standings with the Golden State Warriors right on their rears; they are not currently seen by the masses as a favorite to come of the Western Conference this season. We could attribute that to Chris Paul finally taking more than just a slight decline and obviously former number 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton not quite living up to being what Phoenix Suns fans should’ve expected; with Luka Doncic making the Phoenix Suns regret their selection more and more by the day and Deandre Ayton not really doing much about it. Mikal Bridges? Cam Johnson? Fantastic role players whom you need on a championship team but I nor you should expect either to become an all-star anytime soon; so what does that mean for Devin Booker? He’s going to have to take his game up another notch; after all he is already the best shooting guard in the game and has already separated himself from the likes of a Klay Thompson,CJ McCollum,Zach Lavine,and even James Harden who an argument could be made for over Devin Booker but James Harden has settled into a second-option role in Philadelphia behind Joel Embiid while the Phoenix Suns will go as Devin Booker goes.

Not sure what the Phoenix Suns’s approach will be headed into the trade deadline but I do believe they will be shooting for the championship this season and will look to add an additional piece to help bolster their lineup. Can Devin Booker lead the Phoenix Suns to a championship this season? Absolutely, and no it’s not because he scored 51 points in 3 quarters on the Chicago Bulls or 58 points against the New Orleans Pelicans; this season just has a revenge tour type of vibe for the Phoenix Suns where it seems they are no longer concerned with proving they could win 60 plus games and be the number 1 seed in the Western Conference; they are just a team that has experienced every failure possible in the playoffs and going into these playoffs the pressure to win is off which will bode well for them this season. The Suns have more depth than ever this season, role players Damion Lee,Josh Okogie,Jock Landale, and Landry Shamet have been instrumental this season at providing consistent scoring for the Suns whether it’s off the bench or as starters when needed.

I remember a NBA scout once predicting Devin Booker would be better than Damian Lillard by the age of 26-27 in the year 2020; and I considered that to be a very bold prediction being that Damian Lillard often had me feeling he was the best point guard in the game at that time over the likes of a Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving with his elite scoring in Portland but that scout might be right. It’s left out how much Devin Booker has shouldered the load in Phoenix even with the arrival of Chris Paul 2 seasons ago; he is a true superstar and where he separates himself from every other shooting guard in the game right now is he can actually carry an entire team as one something Anthony Edwards is trying to learn how to do in Minnesota at the moment with the absence of Karl Anthony-Towns. Booker’s offensive game is practically flawless; he’d be the best player in the game if he could defend at an elite level and maybe that’s an area he will focus on come playoff time this time around; but again that’s what separates him from a Kobe Bryant. What Devin Booker could do though is adopt a Mamba Mentality much like Kobe Bryant did as he strived to prove every critic and doubter who labeled him a side-kick and being incapable of winning a championship without former ally in Los Angeles Shaquille O’Neal. You have been warned, Devin Booker is coming for it all.

Author: D-NBA

Welcome to my website where I provide you insight on current topics going around the National Basketball Association. You can also check me out YouTube under D-NBA where I also produce content, thank you for visiting.

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