Phoenix Suns fans waited anxiously Wednesday morning for some news regarding All-Star guard Devin Booker’s hamstring injury from the game 2 loss to New Orleans Pelicans. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided the first updates:
The right hamstring strain is believed to be mild and Devin Booker isn't being ruled out of this opening-round series vs. New Orleans, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/mFr2XIr25s— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 20, 2022
The Suns are still capable of taking care of their first round opponent without Booker in the lineup, but it will certainly make things tougher. There are only two lineups that had positive net ratings without Booker during the regular season:
- Paul, Bridges, Johnson, Crowder, Ayton — +35.6 in 40 minutes
- Paul, Shamet, Bridges, Crowder, Ayton — +7.6 in 116 min
These two lineups played most of the fourth quarter when the team was trying to claw back into the game, and they’ll likely be heavily leaned on during this trip to New Orleans.
Booker’s injury also puts a lot more pressure on Cam Payne, who has to be at his best more now than ever when Paul gets the little time off the floor that he’ll get.
Now more than ever, the team will have to rely on their “everybody eats” mantra and lock in especially well on defense, especially if they want to make this the quick series that it should be.