Could you possibly be more efficient than Devin Booker was in a big spot on Friday night? Do-or-die Game 3, staring down a potential 0-3 series hole, little help from your teammates other than some dude named Kevin Durant. And you do this?? Booker totally overshadowed KD's most impressive line of 39-9-8. That'll be a mere footnote in a historic showing from Phoenix's younger superstar in a 121-114 win.
Don't know what's going to happen to this iteration of the Suns. They may be in for a reckoning or some kind of roster overhaul around Booker and KD if they can't rally past the Denver Nuggets, advance to the NBA Finals and win the whole thing. Navigating Chris Paul's future will be difficult. At least starting next season his exorbitant contract is no longer fully guaranteed.
Whatever the case, Booker is cementing himself as one of the true elite players in the sport. Like, do people even consider Booker a top-10 player? The degree to which he's popping the hell off in the postseason hints at more of a top-five ceiling. He's still only 26 and seems to only get better and better each year.
But the effort Booker put forth here to score 47 points on only 25 shots AND TWO FREE THROWS is mind-boggling. You'd think the box score was a misprint or something.
BOOOOOOOOOK. Awesome line here by JJ Redick, which is apropos re: Booker not needing bail-out calls to pad his scoring numbers at the charity stripe:
If my calculations are correct, Booker is now averaging 36.9 points on 60.2% shooting from the field, 48.9% from 3-point range and has attempted only six free throws per contest through eight playoff games.
Am I suddenly rooting for the Suns now way harder than I was before? Kind of. If I'm going to blog about the joy of witnessing Klay Thompson's greatness — and other accomplished superstars like, you know, LeBron James — I can't exclude Book just because of my desire for larger-than-life legacy narratives. If Booker teams with KD and drags a washed/hurt-again CP3, the enigma that is Deandre Ayton and this oddball Phoenix squad to a championship, that'd be such an epic story.
Guilty as charged over here of not paying enough attention to Booker since the playoffs started. You have everyone's attention now, sir.
Let's see if the Suns can really make this a series by taking Game 4 on their home floor, or if Booker's literally-legendary performance and out-of-skull postseason to date becomes lost in history as the top-seeded Nuggets ultimately move forward to the next round.