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Devin Booker Outlines How Suns Can Build Cohesiveness through Rough Stretch

It’s no secret that Devin Booker had to go through a ton of lows before the Suns eventually made the Finals in 2021.

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Right now, the Suns are in a very low moment, having lost seven of their last 10 and being 14-13 overall despite the championship aspirations of this season.

So what has Booker learned throughout his history with the Suns that can help the team build cohesiveness to right this ship moving forward?

“Just keep learning each other,” Booker said. “Keep talking, don’t be scared to hold each other accountable. We’re all on the same path and we all have the same goal and that’s to win basketball games and we understand it’s not going to be easy. It’s not an easy league. We have enough guys on this team that have been around the block and understand that so it’s time to pick it up.”

Booker said that a lot of players on the team are sharing this sentiment.

“We all feel it,” Booker said. “It’s not just one of us, it’s everybody in here. We all have a job, and it’s the highest form of basketball in the world. It’s not an easy job, and we understand that. We have the talent, and we have good basketball minds in here to play better than we are.”

It’s hard to point to one specific thing that isn’t working for the Suns, who are without Bradley Beal until at least Jan. 1 after he suffered a right ankle sprain Dec. 15 against the Knicks.

No matter who is playing on the court, it doesn’t seem like they can piece even close to a full 48-minute game together. The potential of the team comes in waves, such as their 36-point first quarter against Portland on Monday.

However, more times than not these good stretches quickly fade away, as is evidenced by the Suns eventually falling 109-104 to the Trail Blazers.

Despite all of these factors, Booker is having a career year, averaging career highs in points (27.9), assists (8.2) and rebounds (5.6) in the 19 games he has played in this season.

Is the ‘Point Book’ Experiment Working?

Booker has had to be the primary ball handler and point guard pretty much in every game he has played this season.

Despite Booker’s numbers this season, fans do not feel like their star, who has played mostly the 2 guard throughout his career, is the answer at point guard.

In the last three games, Booker has scored 25+ points, but shot below 45% from the floor and under 28% from three in every one of them.

Suns’ coach Frank Vogel expressed his thoughts of how he feels Booker has performed at point guard over a third of the way through the season.

“The returns so far are really good,” Vogel said. “But we’re gonna see different things throughout the course of an 82-game season. Some nights it’s gonna look seamless and some nights, he’ll be carrying a heavier load than we want him too.”

“It’s easy to look at on a one or two-game, five-game sample size. But, we’ll see a lot more over the course of an 82-game season, what that feels like. So I think having Brad(ley Beal) back will take a lot of pressure off of his workload. So that’s the ideal model that we’re looking for. I think overall, it’s been really good.”

During the Suns’ rough stretches throughout games, Booker has relied a lot more on his iso game than he has had to in the past few years.

Overall, Vogel has liked Booker’s shot selection.

“He’s got a great feel for that,” Vogel said of Booker’s shooting. “I like his shot pattern balance right now. He’s just reading. I’d like him to shoot more threes. But I give him the green light to feel those things out, pick his spots as he chooses. He’s one of the best in the world at it.”

Booker added how he feels his shot selection has been this season.

“Good in spurts, just trying to figure it out for the full 48,” Booker said.

The Suns have a chance to rebound from their losses tonight in Sacramento against the Kings at 8 p.m. MST. Along with Beal, Phoenix will be missing starting center Jusuf Nurkić for the first time this season due to personal reasons. 

Bradley Beal Moving Well while Putting up Shots after Suns’ Practice

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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