After another painful defeat to the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns need to bounce back quickly, with the east-leading Boston Celtics coming to the valley. Expect at least one Suns star to help the team do just that.
After a stretch where it seemed like everything he shot went in, Devin Booker was bound to come back to planet Earth, which he did against Dallas. We should not expect Booker to score 45 points and shoot over 60% every night, given only he and Wilt Chamberlain have done it three consecutive times.
However, there is still a much greater chance that Dbook scores another 45 and shoots lights out than he has another zero point first quarter as he did against the Mavs. Booker has scored less than 20 points on two previous occasions this season, and he had 25 points in the next game on each occasion. Given the match and national TV coverage, we should expect at least 25 from Booker.
Of course, Booker will not be the only star the Suns will be looking to lead them as another big game player might be back.
CP3 might be back for the Phoenix Suns showdown with the Celtics
For the last 14 games, the Phoenix Suns have been without arguably their most important player for the previous two seasons, Chris Paul. While Booker is undoubtedly the star talent now on the team, Paul is the leader who turned the team from bubble babies into championship contenders.
During those 14 games, the Suns have gone a respectable 9-5, which Booker and Deandre Ayton both stepping up to take on larger loads. Additionally, Cameron Payne has played some dependable minutes at the point guard position as coach Monty Williams has mixed and matched lineups to find a working formula.
While Booker and Ayton generally work, their jobs would be much easier with Paul on the floor. Likewise, the Suns are a better, deeper team with Payne an option off the bench.
Paul struggled with scoring before the injury, hitting double figures in only five of 10 contests. However, Paul’s playmaking ability is still sharp as ever, with him hitting double figures in assists in five of 10 contests and having nine in three more. Averaging 9.4 assists per game, Paul would be third in the league – behind Tyrese Haliburton and Trae Young if he officially qualified.
While the Suns did okay without Paul, having his playmaking back should make the team instantly better, just as it did two seasons ago. Now is immediately better enough to beat Boston on Wednesday; we will likely find out as reports have Paul suiting up to face the Big C’s.