Phoenix Suns first-round draft pick Devin Booker has been shooting like a “Splash Brother” over the past two weeks and shows no signs of slowing down.
When the Phoenix Suns spent the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft on Shooting Guard Devin Booker out of the University of Kentucky, there was much speculation of why the Suns needed another guard in their rotation, but Booker has been one of the lone standouts for the Suns thus far this season.
Booker has started six of the last seven games for the Suns and has scored double-digit points in five of the six starts.
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He also scored double-digit points in the one game that he came off of the bench and was also his most impressive performance of the season. Booker scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 32 minutes in the Suns victory over the Charlotte Hornets. He also added two assists and a steal to his total while shooting 7-for-13 from the field, including 3-for-5 from beyond the three point line. His +12 plus/minus rating was also his second best mark of the season.
Booker is shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 45.6 percent from distance through his first 33 NBA games, not too shabby at all for a late-lottery pick. With the Eric Bledsoe injury, in which Bledsoe will be sidelined for the remainder of the season, combined with a struggling team with a 13-26 record, Booker can definitely be in the running for expanded minutes to help his development grow at a faster rate.
Surprisingly for a 19-year-old rookie, who won’t turn 20-years-old until October 2016, Booker is beginning to play with a great deal of confidence.
The beginning of Booker’s career has reminded myself a lot of the beginning of sharpshooter Klay Thompson. Although it has been a smaller sample size, Booker has played 33 games so far and Thompson played 66 in the shortened NBA season of 2011-2012, Booker has put up better shooting numbers than Thompson did in his respective rookie season. Thompson only started 29 of his 66 games in his rookie season and Booker has only started 8 of the Suns 39 games.
Obviously, it is too early to jump the gun and say that Booker will find himself in the elite shooting category of the NBA, but I truly believe that the potential is there for Booker to show off his sharpshooting abilities to the NBA as a whole in a very short time. Booker fits in well with today’s game that is shaping up as more of a finesse and dead-eye shooters game due to the nature of this generation’s players.
Although Suns fans won’t have much to watch for with the playoffs out of reach now, the climb of Devin Booker will allow myself to enjoy something about Suns basketball this season.