When you roll into game 1 like this, it has to mean that the confidence is high, and that a great game is following.
But since a lot of players on the Suns had a great game themselves, with 4 20+ scorers as you can see right here, Booker’s impact might be underrated.
So let me show you actually how big he was and how he created a lot of points for his teammates. What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Right off the bat, first possession of the game, they ran him around 2 screens along the baseline, to come out at the elbow. And since his shooting is such a big threat once he catches it at that spot, you see that he attracts 3 defenders. Great vision in traffic to see Ayton who’s deep under the basket, great bounce pass, and the big man can easily finish here.
Again, starts from under the basket, to go around the screen and the handoff up top. And as you can see this creates sort of a scramble with 2 guys chasing him. At this moment, Devin has both CP3 straight on, and Bridges in the corner. He opts for the second and Mykail swishes it from there.
And again this is all from the first quarter, similar play. Comes out to get the ball, and you see Morris is trailing him so again Jokic has to come out.
That leaves Ayton and Payne right here, so of course the help is going to protect the basket first. Booker finds Cam in the corner and another 3 for Phoenix.
So why are the Nuggets leaving so many wide open shooters then? Well that’s actually pretty simple. Check out what happens when you have Book isolated 1 on 1.
Right here against Rivers, you see the Phoenix players clearing out, and opening up the driving lane. And Devin jabs then takes off, so the most that Austin could do here is foul for the and 1.
In transition here, he’s matched up against the much smaller Campazzo, and you can probably guess what happens. Raises up as if he’s shooting over a chair, and bang.
Then look at this: The gorgeous spin move, Rivers is trailing, the pump fake, oh my goodness this is too smooth.
And the best moment from the game for me: Capping off a comeback from being down 10, steps back, fires and knocks it down plus the foul.
You know you’ve seen this before. The game winning celebration from last year in the bubble.
Devin Booker is at it again, and this time it’s Denver who’s on the receiving end of it.
As the Suns ended the third quarter up by nine, they never looked back, and only increased the lead, at the end winning by 17.
As I mentioned, they were firing on all cylinders. Bridges had a terrific game shooting the ball, but what I loved the most was seeing Chris Paul looking a lot better with his injury compared to the series against the Lakers. It’s noticeable that he still has ways to go in terms of getting 100% healthy, but in game 1 CP was controlling the tempo, assisting, and when it mattered, to put the game away in the fourth, on 2 straight possessions, Chris came to his favorite spot, that legendary elbow area for him and knocked down both jumpers.
And look at Deandre Ayton. Dude was a beast, going head to head against Jokic, and hitting some turnaround shots, some jumpers even, but also letting everyone know just how tough he is by throwing it down with authority and putting Michael Porter Junior on a poster.
As I mentioned Jokic tho, I need to point out that the Nuggets didn’t play bad at all. And this was a beautiful game to watch with great execution on both ends.
As I said, at the beginning of the second half they actually went up by 10, but I feel like they don’t really have a player who can stop the bleeding and can hit shots consistently once they’re in trouble. With Murray on the sidelines I feel like you can really notice that.
However even with Monte Morris giving them absolutely nothing, they were still in it for a large chunk of the game. So I am looking forward to game 2 and to all the adjustments that are going to be made, as well as the rest of the series. Stay tuned. Let me know who you got in this one. That’s it for now, subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.
8 Ιούν 2021