As we all know, popular and exiting second-year guard of the Phoenix Suns Devin Booker recently scored 70 Points in a game. 70. Michael Jordan’s career high was 69. That pretty much sums it up. This has obviously sparked a lot of talk among the ranks of the NBA concerning Booker, the Suns, and the way basketball is played today. I’m here to evaluate different reactions and assumptions that come with a performance of this magnitude. Get ready, it’s reaction time!
No. 1 – Booker is underrated and will dominate the league like Kobe did with his skill set. Sell. It was one game. And I know that D-Book has had other games with 39 points and consistently averages 20 a night, and that this outburst was more than just an outburst, it was a performance for the ages. But here’s what I have to say. 45. That’s the amount of minutes that Booker logged in the game. From that we can conclude that a) his coach purposely played him more in order to let him break some records and b) since the lead got as big as 26 but none of the scrubs came in, it’s clear the coaching staff was not concerned with winning in the first place. This is a great sign, but just remember, points are one thing, points that help your team win are another.
No.2 – This was a random performance and we still can’t be sure of Booker’s future. Also a sell. It’s not guaranteed that Booker will own the league, but at the very least I think he’ll make a few all star games. Considering Isaiah Thomas can be a “superstar” for scoring 29 ppg but being dead last in every defensive rating imaginable, it’s almost factual that Booker can at least be a fringe all star with 25 ppg and around average defense. The only thing that could prevent Booker from this is the overload of talent in the West, specifically at the guard position. But with CP3 aging, Dame’s all star status slipping, and D’Angelo stalling, hopefully Booker sneaks into the first of his all star appearances within the next year. By the way, about Isaiah Thomas …
No.3 – Do the Boston Celtics have an issue on defense? Buy. Couldn’t have said it better myself (oh wait). I think Isaiah’s great and raises the Celtics’ level of play, but he’ just really, really, really horrendous on defense. His 5’9” frame would make him a liability no matter what, but when you couple that frame with bad defensive instincts, that’s when you get a disaster. The Celtics will have the chance most likely to draft either Fultz or Ball in the draft with the Brooklyn picks, so it might be worth considering cashing in now and trading Isaiah while his value is at its peak.
No.4 – Had this game been competitive, Booker would not have scored 70. Absolutely Buy. I mean the game was 22-3 five minutes in. The Celtics couldn’t have cared less from that point on and were happy to let the young Book get as many points as his heart desired. It got to the point where Booker wasn’t being contested on runs to the rim and where the Suns were intentionally fouling in order to get him more looks. In my opinion, had this game been competitive, Booker would have finished with around 45-50 points. Which is still great, but had that been the case, I wouldn’t be writing this.
No.5 – The Suns will be contenders within 3-5 years as Booker becomes a star. At the moment, this is a sell. Booker is great, but he’s only 20 years old, has yet to learn the proper tactics of NBA defense, has yet to win 30 games in a single season, and has yet to show his abilities to playmake outside of shooting. I think he can be a playmaker, he just hasn’t shown it yet. But the Suns will not be getting much better until they add a lot of new players around Booker. Bledsoe is good, but I’m not sure that he’s the point guard for the future. Brandon Knight needs to leave as soon as possible. Marquese Chriss is talented but will probably never be more than an average starter. Bender’s been a total bust to say the least. So yeah, the Suns have a lot of work to do.