Devin Booker is Making His Case For MVP

The Phoenix Suns had a disappointing end to last season. After having the best record in the NBA, 64-18, they went into the playoffs with championship hopes. Instead, they met Luka Doncic and the Mavericks in the second round of the Western Conference and were pummeled in a deciding game 7. Devin Booker was playing great for the Suns and was the primary scorer. So far this season, Booker is starting off the same way he started last season and is looking to make a push for MVP. 

Booker made a name for himself after scoring 70 points in a game in only his third season in the league. Primarily known for his shooting, the young All-Star was unable to lead the Suns into the playoffs until Chris Paul joined the team in 2020. That allowed him to focus more on scoring and not necessarily have the ball in his hands in order to create.

The 25-year-old is not necessarily the best defender or at least he did not focus on that at all coming into the NBA. However, it seems that on top of the scoring load, Booker is taking on a personal goal of becoming a better defender. In a game against the Warriors, he was tasked with defending a superb shooting guard in Klay Thompson. As his primary defender, Thompson was shut down and did not score before being ejected for taking trash-talking too far for the referees to ignore.

Part of the success of the team on both offense and defense has been Booker making it his responsibility to steer the team into winning games. Subsequently, the Suns are ranked in the top five on both ends of the floor. 

The team is off to a good start after a questionable off-season that had DeAndre Ayton asking out but eventually staying after the Suns made Ayton a better offer as a restricted free agent. Jae Crowder is not currently playing for the team and wants out. He was critical for the Suns, providing leadership and steady offensive and defensive input.

Despite that, Booker has ignored all distractions and kept the team out of the news for negative reasons. He is currently averaging 29 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists on 51% FG shooting. Although not in the top five of the MVP ladder so far, if he continues to play this way he might find his way there by the end of the season. The Suns have a 4-1 record and are going into their 6th game facing the Rockets at home on Sunday night.