The Phoenix Suns have not faltered with Chris Paul out with an injury because of the leadership and basketball brilliance of Devin Booker. Phoenix has rolled to a 10-4 record after the All-Star break without CP3’s defense, playmaking and unparalleled vision mainly because of “Book’s” incredible play.
While Booker has been impressive the whole season, it was only during Paul’s absence that some fans and analysts really noticed. Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, though, has kept tabs on Booker for most of the Suns’ campaign. The iconic former Detroit Pistons player believes “Book” should squarely be in the MVP conversation.
Booker was appreciative but has a really strong take on what goes on with the MVP voting, tweeting:
“Appreciate that IT but the” #criteria “changes depending on the players name”
The leader of the Bad Boys is emphatically pushing for Booker’s MVP candidacy. Thomas’ reasoning is simple and quite logical. Booker should be considered the MVP as he is the leading scorer of the team which owns the NBA’s best record (58-14).
The 25-year-old shooter is averaging 25.9 points per game on 45.5% shooting, including 35.6% from beyond the arc. Deandre Ayton, the Phoenix Suns’ starting center, is a distant second to Booker in scoring with 17.0 ppg. Booker’s ability to put up points is a big reason the Suns sit on top of the NBA standings.
More importantly, the three-time All-Star has significantly improved his game sans Paul. In the last 14 games without CP3, Booker is averaging 26.8 ppg, 6.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds. He is also shooting better minus “The Point God.” Booker is hitting 49%, including 38.6% from long-distance.
With Booker scoring more and with better efficiency with more assists, he should receive a big push for the MVP award, according to Thomas. Booker’s ability to win the award seems very unlikely. The competition has turned into a three-way race between Joel Embiid, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
If the Suns guard somehow pulls it off, it would probably be the biggest upset in the history of the MVP award.
Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns are looking to sustain their level of play
At some point, Williams will decide to give several starters a few days off to recover and just to avoid injuries. When fully healthy and with CP3 back, they’ll be ready for a push to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy that slipped from their hands last year.