Phoenix Suns SG Devin Booker expects to play vs. Portland
PHOENIX – Two seasons into his NBA career and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is still growing.
Since the Suns selected him with the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Booker has added an inch and roughly 10 pounds to his frame. He’s also gone up a shoe size; the latter of which was only recently discovered.
Booker is expected to debut his new size 15s when the Suns host the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Wednesday.
Though officially listed as questionable, Booker hopes to be back on the court after missing Monday’s game at the Los Angeles Clippers because of a sore right big toe, something that had been bothering him for awhile now.
“I think my shoe was a little bit too small and the toe just kept hitting the front of the shoe,” he said, following shootaround. “My toe started bruising, but I didn’t think nothing of it. I felt a little pain like two weeks ago, then I got it treated and I didn’t feel it anymore and then during the Oklahoma City game I starting feeling it. It got pretty bad. It was hard to walk the next morning and like I said, I moved up a shoe size. I’ve been icing it, doing treatment 24 hours a day, so it feels a lot better now.”
Since the season opener, Booker has shot just 29.7 percent, missing 26-of-37 shots, including nine 3-pointers, over two games.
“A lot of shots he missed you could tell he just didn’t have that lift,” head coach Earl Watson said, pointing to Booker’s toe as the reason for the shooting struggles. “You could see the frustration and pain in his face, and for us, that’s a positive. We understand he’s a big part of what we do. To have chances in the first three games, at least, to say we could have won if he was healthy, that gives us positive momentum and a great outlook.”
Four games into the season, the Suns are still searching for their first win, and the Trail Blazers are their fourth straight Western Conference playoff opponent from last season.
Having Booker, their third-leading scorer at 15.3 points per game, in uniform rather than street clothes would certainly be a plus.
“I don’t like missing any games. I wanted to play in L.A., but (the training staff) said they didn’t want it to be a bigger problem then it has to be, so if one game of rest helps it out then that’s what I should do. So, that’s what I did. It does feel a lot better right now. I want to play. The plan is for me to play, but we’ll see what the training staff says,” he said.
“It doesn’t feel good when people ask why you’re sitting out and you say your toe. I think I got a lot of heckling on Twitter for that, sitting out for a toe, but if you’re had the injury, you know how bad it hurts. It hurts to take every step. Playing against L.A., chasing J.J. Redick off a lot of screens, that would’ve been hard for me.”
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