The Phoenix Suns are in a major funk right now. They have lost three straight games and are 1-6 over their last seven contests.
Many fans are beginning to jump off the Suns’ bandwagon, but don’t count on star shooting guard Devin Booker to lose faith in his teammates.
“I believe in everybody in here,” Booker said after the Suns lost to the Sacramento Kings on March 24. “We have the pieces to do it.”
The Suns dropped to 38-35 on the season following the Kings game. They are now in fifth place in the Western Conference standings. Phoenix has nine games left in the regular season, starting on March 25 versus Joel Embiid, James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Booker finished with 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists against the Kings. The three-time All-Star is averaging 28.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 46 games in 2022-23 while shooting 50.2% from the field, 36.6% from beyond the arc and 84.2% from the free-throw line.
Devin Booker & the Suns Need Kevin Durant Back
The Suns traded two solid rotation players in Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant, who is currently out with a left ankle injury. Without Durant and center Deandre Ayton — who has a hip injury — Booker and point guard Chris Paul don’t have enough help on offense to win games.
The good news is that Durant could play on March 29 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
The Suns are 3-0 with Durant in the lineup. KD is averaging 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists with Phoenix while shooting a blistering 69.0% from the floor, 53.8% from 3-point land and 88.2% from the charity stripe.
Booker has meshed well with Durant, averaging 36.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists alongside the two-time Finals MVP.
“He’s unstoppable,” Booker said about Durant on March 21. “He just understands the game. He’s been doing this his whole entire life at the highest level, and even when you watch him do it, he just seems unfazed and unbothered by any type of situation that he’s thrown in.”
Devin Booker: ‘Everybody Knows the Goal’
Booker told reporters on March 21 that “everybody knows the goal” when he was asked what the Suns expect to accomplish when Durant returns from his ankle injury.
“I mean, I think everybody knows the goal,” Booker said. “We had our Finals experience even when he wasn’t here, and bringing in a champ, a two-time champ, he knows what it takes. We’re gonna follow that lead.”
Durant won two championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. The Suns believe their Big 4 of Durant, Booker, Ayton and Paul can win it all this season once Durant recovers from his injury and gets back into a scoring rhythm, sources told Heavy Sports.
Booker and the Suns reached the 2021 Finals. They had a 2-0 lead on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks before losing four straight games. With Durant in the mix, Phoenix has a strong shot at winning the title this season.
However, players around Booker and Durant have to play better, including Paul and Ayton.