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All-Star Sunday Preview: Paul, Booker, ELAM ending

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NBA: All Star Game-Team Lebron at Team Giannis Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was named to the team though he will not participate in the All-Star game today due to a mild knee strain. Booker had also been tabbed to participate in the pre-game Three-Point Contest, where he has won on finished in top-3 on three different occasions.

The other Phoenix Suns guard is some guy named Chris Paul. CP3 may be in his first year in Phoenix, but he’s going into his 11th All-Star game. Paul, 35 years old, will also compete in the pre-game Skills Challenge, his 4th all-time appearance but first since he won it 15 years ago.

It’s so nice to have multiple Phoenix Suns in the All-Star game isn’t it?

This will be the first year the Suns have had two All-Stars since 2010 (Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire). The Phoenix Suns have had 65 overall selections in its 53 year franchise history, including 23 seasons with 2 or more in the same year. By contrast, there have been 16 seasons with a single All-Star and 14 seasons with no All-Stars. Those 14 seasons with no All-Stars includes a just-completed 7-year dearth from 2013-2019.

Devin Booker joins 14 other players with multiple All-Star seasons in Phoenix Suns uniforms, including:

  1. Walter Davis (6)
  2. Steve Nash (6)
  3. Amare Stoudemire (5)
  4. Connie Hawkins (4)
  5. Charles Barkley (4)
  6. Shawn Marion (4)
  7. Paul Westphal (4)
  8. Tom Chambers (3)
  9. Kevin Johnson (3)
  10. Jason Kidd (3)
  11. Dan Majerle (3)
  12. Charlie Scott (3)
  13. Dick Van Arsdale (3)
  14. Dennis Johnson (2)

Devin Booker is in his 6th year in the NBA. He’s the 15th player in franchise history with 2+ selections. At just 24 years old, more are coming for him, that’s for sure.

It’s also possible that Chris Paul will stay good enough next year to make it 16 total Phoenix Suns with 2+ All-Star selections.

Next Up

The All-Star Game will take place later today (6pm AZ time). I know the games have largely been duds in recent years, but that ELAM ending last year was awesome!

The ELAM ending (though not labeled as such by the NBA, it’s still that) was invented by Dr. Elam who posited that games should end at a particular point total (or, “target score”) rather than a clock. The target score is set at 24 points greater than the leading team’s points at the end of the third quarter. For example, if team A is leading 100-95 after three quarters, it’s a race to 124 no matter how long it takes. The first team to 124 wins the game.

The beauty of this ending is that it eliminates late-game fouls. Teams aren’t trying to run out the clock and slow down the game. Instead, they’re trying to score as efficiently as possible without delay. And the pressure ramps up higher on every possession.

Heck, even the All-Star game got competitive at the end there! Watch last year’s game, with a target score of 157. I was literally on my feet not knowing who would win!

You’ll notice Chris Paul (West) and Kyle Lowry (East) were the point guards their coaches trusted in the final seconds to get their team to the win.

Hope this year is just as fun!