Devin Booker‘s emergence as an all-around scorer last year was unexpected. His reputation was as a lights-out three-point shooter, but the 19-year-old from Kentucky showed he was much more explosive than that.
In the Phoenix Suns’ third dress rehearsal, they traveled to Portland to face off against the Trail Blazers, and Booker was spectacular. The-soon-to-be 20-year-old abused Portland’s defense in a variety of ways and was shockingly impotent from three. His final shooting clip was a staggering 15/23, and that includes 1/4 from downtown.
His size gave him a mismatch over both Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum; the two guys tasked with having to lock him up. Booker wasn’t getting all the way to the basket each possession, but his mid-range game was cold, and on multiple occasions, he took advantage of the lax defense on the high pick-and-roll.
D-Book added five assists, three steals, and three rebounds to his stat line and all of this got done in 30 minutes. Portland, however, pulled out the victory, 115-110, behind Shabazz Napier‘s 20 and Lillard’s 18.
The Suns don’t play again until October 12 when they travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Jazz. In their last meeting, the Jazz edged out Phoenix 104-99 and held Booker to just 13 points on 3/9 shooting.
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