Phoenix Suns, The Whiteboard

The Whiteboard: Devin Booker gets buckets in March

Welcome to The Whiteboard, catching you up every morning on what’s good around the NBA. Find The Whiteboard here on The Step Back, and subscribe here to get it delivered to you by email.

Everywhere you look, you can see the signs — buds beginning to pop on the trees, scrawny robins looking to get their worm on and build up some summer bulk, Devin Booker pouring in points and Father Winter slowly releasing his tyrannical grasp on the Northern Hemisphere. Spring is in the air.

Over the past few years, there has been no more reliable indicator of Spring’s impending arrival than Booker’s pivot from “good young perimeter scorer” to “Hephaestus, god of fire and human volcano, laying wastes to the pitiful artifices of human basketball defenses.” Booker’s legendary 70-point performance against the Boston Celtics came in March, two years ago. Earlier this week, he dropped 59 points on the Jazz. In fact, of the ten highest-scoring games of his young career, six have come in the month of March.

With the inclusion of last night’s 50-point explosion against the Washington Wizards, Booker is averaging 33.0 points, 6.5 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game this month, on a 60.6 true shooting percentage.

And the Suns, well, the Suns, collectively, have not been quite as hot. With Booker shooting lightning bolts out of his fingers, the Suns are 5-9, getting outscored by an average of 5.6 points per 100 possessions. Both the win percentage and point differential are an improvement on their season-long numbers but Phoenix finds themselves in the unfortunate position of having an elite perimeter scorer who can’t really move the needle that far on the rest of the broken roster.

If you had to look for signs of optimism, beyond a pair of 50-point games within a single week, the Suns have outscored opponents by 5.0 points per 100 possessions in the 195 minutes Booker, Deandre Ayton and Kelly Oubre Jr. have been on the floor together this month. Add Mikal Bridges and it jumps to plus-9.2 in 64 minutes.

Phoenix has the offensive centerpiece in place and that’s the hardest part of building a contending team. Somewhere in the morass of potential and specialists behind Booker there is a functioning rotation. Maybe this March is when it finally comes together?

#Content you can’t miss

If your team is likely to be picking in the middle of the lottery, you should be very excited about Brandon Clarke

Defensive Player of the Year, who ya’ got?

How is it that both of the frontrunners for Sixth Man of the Year play for the Clippers?

Jusuf Nurkic’s injury is absolutely devastating to the present and future of the Trail Blazers

If the Kings don’t raise your heart rate then I don’t even know what we’re doing here

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Cavs prez Altman faces impaired driving charge
Sources: Lakers give Vanderbilt 4-year extension
Fantasy basketball rankings 2023-24: Head-to-head points
Smith, Sharpe, Mathurin: NBA sophomores to watch in 2023-24
Oubre expected to sign with 76ers, sources say

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *