Devin Booker's Case for All-NBA Selection
With his historic streaks, multiple 50-point performances, and ranking among some of the greatest to ever play, Devin Booker not only had one of the most impressive seasons in Suns history, but may have played his way to his first All-NBA selection.
According to the NBA, the All-NBA Teams are selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters where the media votes for All-NBA First, Second and Third by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis. Voters select two guards, two forwards and one center for each team.
That being said, Booker would need to rank as a top 15 player in the league this past season and, more specifically, a top six guard. Stats seem to suggest that both of these are true.
Starting simply with his career-high 26.6 points per game, Booker finished with the second highest scoring average in franchise history, trailing only All-NBA Second Team selection Tom Chambers in 1989-90. Compared to the rest of the league, Booker ranked seventh overall in scoring and third among guards (James Harden*, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry*, Kawhi Leonard).
Booker also scored 35-plus points in 15 games, tied for fourth in the NBA this season and tied for third among guards (James Harden*, Paul George, Stephen Curry*, Kemba Walker*).
Not only was Booker able to showcase historic scoring performances, but he was able to do so at a highly efficient level. To match his career-high in scoring, he also shot a career-high 46.7 percent from the field. The only other players who averaged more points while shooting at least 45 percent were Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry* and LeBron James – ranking him second among guards and fifth overall.
While managing to get his own, Booker also made sure to get his teammates involved averaging a career-high with 6.8 assists per game. He was one of just three players (two guards) to average at least 26 points and 6 assists this season along with LeBron James and James Harden*.
He ranked second overall in the NBA behind only James Harden with 28 games recording at least 24 points and 7 assists. His 28 such games are also the second most in a season in Suns history, trailing only All-NBA Second Team selection Kevin Johnson in 1989-90.
Booker had one of the most historic three-game runs in NBA history from March 25-30, where he scored 59, 50 and 48 points in back-to-back-to-back games. His 157 points are the most over a three-game span in franchise history and he is one of just six players in NBA history to score that much in a three-game span, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, James Harden and Elgin Baylor (Basketball-Reference).
Booker became just the 7th player in NBA history to score at least 48 points in three consecutive games, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor, James Harden and Rick Barry (Basketball-Reference). Booker is the youngest of the group and joins Barry as the only to do so before turning 23 years old.
Over the four-game stretch from March 25 – April 1, Booker averaged 45.5 points on 59.1 FG%, 40.6 3FG%, 92.9 FT% with eight assists per game. Since at least 1983-84, the only other NBA player to average 45-plus points and 8-plus assists over a four-game span is James Harden (Basketball-Reference).
While other candidate’s teams may have reached higher win totals, Booker’s scoring, playmaking and overall historical performances cannot be ignored. Ranking atop the league’s best through many statistical categories, Booker has developed quite the resume to be selected to his first All-NBA selection for the 2018-19 season.