Devin Booker and Luka Doncic by some miracle or influence by some of the greatest point guards by their side have become defensive leaders at their position.
Devin Booker became one of the best scorers in the NBA in the last few years, averaging well over 25 points a game for the last five seasons or so. But the 6’5 shooting guard might have become the best at that position since the Point God joined his side.
Since Chris Paul’s arrival, Booker’s defensive game has taken a steep upward climb with no comprise in his offensive game. The 6-time steals leader and arguably the greatest point guard of all-time certainly has done his bit in helping Booker ascend his game to the level he’s in.
Devin Booker defense. pic.twitter.com/km2uVMvsPJ
— Suns Latam (-9) (@SunsLatam) May 6, 2022
Some of the best defensive guards in the league like Jrue Holiday have defensive ratings lesser than D’Book in the regular season. While he is the top defensive two-guard in the league, he also ranked top-20 in defense among all players in the league.
There is another guard who much like Booker has been criticized for being a hollow scorer since the start of his career, but has shown this year that he could do it on both ends of the floor. And Booker has been playing against him in the Western Conference Semi-finals.
Devin Booker has an edge over Luka Doncic which might decide the series for both the teams
Luka Doncic, surprisingly enough, is the 7th best defensive rated player this season, just above Paul who’s at 8th, and the DPOY Marcus Smart who’s at 9th. Jason Kidd‘s influence you say? That must not be wrong.
What has separated him and Booker in this 3-3 tied series, though, is the latter’s success in defending the former. Booker is stopping Luka Magic to just 42.9% shooting while himself scoring 72.2% of his shots when the Mavericks guard is defending him.
Luka Doncic is shooting 42.9% when guarded by Devin Booker in this series.
Devin Booker is shooting 72.2% when guarded by Luka Doncic in this series.
Stats via NBA’s matchup tracking.
— Mike Vigil (@protectedpick) May 14, 2022
This will play a massive role in Game 7 as both teams have blown each other apart in their homes and Devin Booker and Co await the Dallas Mavericks to arrive at the Footprint Center on Sunday to settle the series and move on to the Western Conference Finals where the Warriors are waiting for the winner of the two.