But the current season is a lost cause for the Suns. As a result, everything interim head coach Jay Triano does until the final game should put the team in position to win in the future.
There have been plenty of ups and downs. However, there is no doubt the Suns have played better since Triano took over for Earl Watson.
Devin Booker at Point Guard Is Ideal for Phoenix Suns’ Future Offense
Triano, seeking a solution for the Suns’ anemic offense, moved his star player, Devin Booker, from shooting guard to point guard last week. When he made the move, Triano said that Booker has the potential to run the offense like James Harden does for the Houston Rockets.
“That’s the ideal team, from the way the Rockets are playing offensively and how efficient they are,” Triano said. “[Harden’s] move to the point guard spot is one of the things we looked at.”
Of course, Harden is surrounded by shooters in Houston. Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and Chris Paul are just a few of the Rockets’ options. Houston has made about 16 threes per game, and while the Rockets’ percentage (36.3) ranks 13th in the NBA, that is misleading because they attempt 43 threes a game, which is nine more than the next closest team. Only the Golden State Warriors (115.7) have averaged more points per game than Houston (113.8)
You will find the Suns on the other side of the offensive prowess ledger. Phoenix ranks 28th in field goal percentage (44.2), 29th in three-point percentage (33.6) and 17th in points per game (104.7). When Booker and T.J. Warren struggle to score, the Suns have lost more than 75 percent of the time.
Of course, in order for the Booker-at-PG plan to work, general manager Ryan McDonough has to surround Booker with capable shooters. This way, Triano does not have to run isolation plays 90 percent of the time. Troy Daniels is one option, but more are needed.
Booker the Playmaker
Under the assumption that McDonough does acquire proven shooters to complement him in the starting lineup, Booker has so much potential as the primary ball handler.
During this “trial run,” Booker has at times been too aggressive or not aggressive enough. Somewhere in between those two extremes is ideal.
But if people think it cannot be done, look no further than Harden. The NBA’s MVP frontrunner has found a way to score the most points per game (31.5) and dish out the third most assists per game (9.1) in the league.
Booker is averaging six assists per game. If done properly, he can find the open man and look for his own shot at the same time.
But the difference between him and anybody else at the point for Phoenix is astronomical. Booker is the only player who can create his own shot whenever. He can find the open man, but if nobody is open, Booker can get to the rim or pull up for a jumper.
The Suns run very few isolation plays but with Booker running the show, their offense should become more efficient. As Harden has shown, as long as Booker makes the right decision, Phoenix will get a good shot off on most possessions.
Again, it takes a team with shooters spacing the floor to get this done. But with the right personnel on the court, Booker could run the show and turn the Suns into an elite offense again.
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