Who’da thunk the Phoenix Suns would go ultra-young and start winning games at a high clip?
STOP RIGHT THERE. Don’t you dare scroll down to leave your chest-puffing comment that you knew all along the youngest lineup in Suns history would win 4 out of 6 games and, if not more some missed free throws, 6 of 9 since the All-Star break. AT LEAST READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN FIRST.
The Suns starting lineup coming out of the break was already the 49-year-old franchise’s youngest ever, with Eric Bledsoe (27) as the old man among T.J. Warren (23), Alex Len (23), Devin Booker (20) and Marquese Chriss (19).
Now with center Alex Len out with a hip issue last night, Watson went one better with starting rookie Derrick Jones Jr. (20) for the first time, shifting Warren to power forward and Chriss to center. Adding Booker and Bledsoe gave the Suns their youngest starting five in team history at an average age of 22 years, 64 days (22.2 years old).
Credit Doug Haller for this drop of knowledge.
To put that in perspective, Villanova won the Big East tournament on Saturday with a starting lineup averaging 21.6 years. Arizona's starters in the Pac-12 Tournament averaged 20.8.
I imagine at some point later this spring the Suns will go younger still. Eric Bledsoe will get a rest, putting Tyler Ulis (21) into the starting lineup, and hopefully Dragan Bender (19) will be healthy enough to play a week or so of games before summer break and might get a start.
So how is an NBA team barely older than a college team able to win games?
Devin. Armani. Booker.
The dude is not only just 20 years old, he won’t be 21 until two weeks into the 2017-18 season!
Booker just hit his second buzzer-beater of the season to win a game for his team, putting him one buzzer-beater ahead of best friend Tyler Ulis and back court mate Eric Bledsoe.
In fact, no NBA TEAM has more buzzer-beaters than Booker this season.
Book continues padding his record-books stats as one of the league’s youngest ever to do a lot of things:
- youngest ever in the big-boy All-Star Three-Point Contest (February, 2016)
- youngest ever with back-to-back 38+ point games (November 4-6, 2016)
- youngest ever with back-to-back 39+ point games (January 12-14, 2016)
- youngest ever with 16+ consecutive games scoring 20+ points (February 4, 2016)
- fourth-youngest ever to 1,000 career points (April, 2016) with Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant
- fourth youngest ever with 37+ games of 23+ points (March 11, 2017) tied with Kyrie Irving, behind Kevin Durant (70), Carmelo Anthony (80) and LeBron James (110)
- fourth youngest ever with 16+ games of 30+ points (March 11, 2017), just one behind Carmelo Anthony for third place.
I could keep going.
These aren’t Suns franchise stats. These are all-time NBA rankings.
Lets watch Devin play ball. Enjoy it, Suns fans.