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10 things to know about the hottest team in the NBA: Yourrrrrr Phoenix Suns!

Halfway through the Bubble seeding games, the Suns are playing the best basketball in the league

Phoenix Suns v Washington Wizards Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images

When Devin Booker collected his fifth foul early in the third quarter of the Suns game vs. the Indiana Pacers, I worried that the magical run was over.

But of course you know by now that the Disney magic is STILL flying around the Suns franchise, as the bench ran off a 21-0 spurt on the way to a 15-point win.

The Suns are 4-0 in the seeding games, and only a couple games to make up for a playoff spot with four games to go. Anything is possible!

Along the way, the Suns are reaching milestones...

First, we’ve got three for All-Star guard Devin Booker:

  1. Booker now has 200 career 20-point games (out of only 338 played!). He is the fastest Suns player in history to reach this milestone by a desert mile — it took ‘Sweet D’ Walter Davis 347 games to reach that mark!
  2. Of all the guards to enter the NBA since 2000 — that’s the last 20 years for those of you who can’t believe it’s already 2020 — Booker is the second-fastest to reach 200 20-point games (Dwyane Wade). That’s it. Booker and Wade.
  3. Booker has 88 career 30-point games — good for second all-time in Suns franchise history, and only 2 away from Walter Davis’ 90. He’s got four games in the Bubble to reach or surpass Walter’s all-time franchise record.

It’s not all about Booker though, is it?

  1. Cameron Johnson has 99 threes in only 53 career games. As long as he gets ONE more in the next 18 games, he will be the fastest in Suns history to get 100 threes to start a career. Fastest in Suns history before this? Wesley Person in 72 games.
  2. Suns are undefeated in August (3-0), their highest regular season monthly winning percentage in franchise history
  3. Suns are 10th on offense, 4th on defense and 3rd in overall net rating in the Bubble, where they are the ONLY team to win all four of their games so far
  4. The five-man lineup of Deandre AytonDevin BookerMikal BridgesRicky Rubio — Cameron Johnson now has a net rating of +18 per 100 possessions (roughly, a whole game) in 62 minutes of playing time. That’s the 3rd best five-man lineup IN THE BUBBLE
  5. Kelly Oubre, Jr. seems to be inching closer to returning to the rotation, but don’t expect him to start games again. If he CAN return though, you should be happy. The five-man lineup of Deandre Ayton — Devin Booker — Mikal BridgesRicky RubioKelly Oubre Jr. still has a net rating of +20.2 per 100 possessions (roughly, a whole game) in 226 minutes of playing time. That’s the 3rd best five-man lineup in the whole NBA across the whole season.
  6. 30 wins — the Suns have won 30 games in the regular season for the first time in Devin Booker’s career because Book has been subjected to one of the most painful rebuilds in NBA history
  7. This season, the Suns now have 13 different games with 15+ three pointers made, by far the highest in Suns history (previous high was 9 such games in 2004-05!)

Suns STILL have the youngest team in the league, and the second lowest amount of NBA experience across the roster.

“I just think they want it,” coach Monty Williams said. “When you’re young you probably don’t pay much attention to the stakes. I think they’re growing up. You have to be in these situations, you have to be in these moments. They’re growing up on the fly. They’re a part of the scouting report for other teams now and they’re responding.”

But the Suns know they haven’t accomplished anything yet.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Williams said. “And yet I’m already turning the page. That’s the mentality we have to have.”

“We have end goals as this team,” Devin Booker said after the Clippers win. “I have personal goals for this team that I want to reach. I want a reputation in this league as being a winner. Through five years I haven’t gotten to that part of my career yet. But I’m gonna work as extremely hard as I can to get there and I feel like we have a really good bunch to do it.”

I love this next quote too.

“These are the top teams in the NBA,” Booker said. “The schedule’s not easy at all. We know what we’re against. We’re coming in here, we’re not scared of the opportunity, we’re just taking it head on. It’s turned out well for us. We got (4) games left. We’re taking them one at a time and we’re trying to collect the most wins that we can.”

Let’s go Suns!

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