Devin Booker Skips Media Session, Phoenix Suns Knocked Out of Playoffs by Denver Nuggets, Roster Rework, Business News, Offseason Goals, Free Agency, Latest
The Suns were eliminated from the NBA playoffs on Friday (all times AEST) after suffering a serious injury 125-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Without Chris Paul (who had been injured since Game 2) and DeAndre Ayton (who missed Game 6 with a rib injury), the Suns played No. 1 West on their home court – the end of an incredible run that Phoenix guard Devin Booker was during the entire series in which he scored 83 points in games 3 and 4 with a shot rate of almost 80 percent.
Booker struggled in Game 6, scoring 12 points on 4 of 13 shots — and after the game (and the Suns’ season) was over, Booker left the arena without speaking to the media.
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“This is very unlike Booker, who normally takes on the responsibilities that come with being the face of the franchise,” ESPN’s Tim McMahon tweeted after the game was over. “Local media representatives could not remember the last time he left the arena without fulfilling his media duties.”
Last year, when the Suns’ season ended in a Western Conference Semifinals defeat at their home stadium, also in a 123-90 bloodbath against the Mavericks in Game 7, Booker spoke to the media, as did Paul.
Perhaps Booker is aware that the team could potentially face a major makeover in the off-season under new owner Mat Ishbia.
Booker, Kevin Durant, Ayton and Landry Shamet are the only four players with fully guaranteed contracts. Paul, 38, has a team option, as does Cameron Payne.
Ayton, whose duel with former MVP Nikola Jokic had a disappointing streak, has also been the subject of trade rumours.
Booker, who is just 26 and seems to be getting better every year, will be back in 2023/24, as will Durant.
However, the team, which won the first two games of the 2021 NBA Finals before losing four straight games to the Bucks, appears to be regressing after two consecutive knockout games in the second round.
Perhaps Booker’s early exit could be a sign of internal frustration for a team considered one of the favorites to win the NBA championship after signing Durant from the Nets in a blockbuster trade.
It’s a trade that also decimated the Suns’ draft fortunes as they will now look for ways to build around Booker and Durant.
They have now been overwhelmed at home for the second straight game in their final game of the season.
“It was pretty much the whole game,” said Suns head coach Monty Williams. “81 points in the first half. It was disappointing just to see them score just like that, running across the floor and scoring easy baskets.”
-This article was first published in the New York Post and reproduced with permission
https://www.foxsports.com.au/basketball/nba/nba-2023-devin-booker-skips-media-session-phoenix-suns-knocked-out-of-playoffs-by-denver-nuggets-roster-overhaul-trade-news-offseason-targets-free-agency-latest/news-story/b81f38a53c5252925f0392c448daa0f5 Devin Booker Skips Media Session, Phoenix Suns Knocked Out of Playoffs by Denver Nuggets, Roster Rework, Business News, Offseason Goals, Free Agency, Latest