PHOENIX SUNS

GM McDonough: Suns trying to replace production of injured Devin Booker

Dec 15, 2017, 5:55 PM
Newly-appointed Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough speaks during an NBA basketall news con...
Newly-appointed Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough speaks during an NBA basketall news conference, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Phoenix. McDonough joins the Suns after most recently serving the past three seasons as the assistant general manager of the Boston Celtics. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

The Phoenix Suns are four games into a stretch without Devin Booker that could potentially go past Christmas, and, unsurprisingly, they do not have a win.

While the Suns have worked hard and competed in all four of those games, losing by 10, three, seven and six points in those losses, they are still losses.

Something needs to change, and the easiest place to look is offense without their primary offensive option.

Most eyes went towards fourth-year forward T.J. Warren, who was averaging 18.4 points per game before Booker went down.

While he has stepped up a bit, it’s worth considering how much extra responsibility he now has as general manager Ryan McDonough notes.

“I think T.J. Warren, in particular, is carrying a heavy load,” he said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo show.

In the four games, Warren has averaged 20.5 points and is shooting 40 percent from the field in the three more shots a game he is taking (15.5 to 18.8).

Unfortunately for him, there isn’t a clear name to step up in his place as the secondary option.

“I think we’re gonna have to find a secondary scorer to alleviate some of the burden off of T.J. and hopefully that’s a combination of guys,” McDonough said.

So far, it has been that mix, but not for a win.

Fresh off a career-high 32 points against Toronto Wednesday, Troy Daniels is averaging 15.3 points while shooting 50 percent from the field in the Booker-less stretch. Greg Monroe and Mike James are both posting 13.3 points a game and Tyler Ulis is at 10.8.

The problem isn’t necessarily there, but in 3-point shooting, a spacing issue that was already present even with Booker.

Daniels is the only player shooting above 25 percent from deep in those four games and he’s at 43.8 percent.

As a team, they are shooting 27.9 percent on threes in those four games.

With no real solution in sight, the real question is when Booker will be back.

Interim head coach Jay Triano said at practice Friday he doesn’t expect him to practice on the three-game road trip the team is on, which ends on Dec. 20 after a game in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

McDonough said the hope is still sometime around Christmas.

“He’s feeling better, there’s a lot of progress that has been made around there,” he said.

Phoenix Suns

Washington Commanders guard Chris Paul works during a rookie minicamp practice at the team's NFL fo...
Haboob Blog

Chris Paul or CP3? Commanders quiz their rookies

Chris Paul, Washington Commanders rookie guard, shares a name and position with Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul.
1 day ago
Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass against Raja Bell #19 0f the Phoenix Suns in...
Arizona Sports

The 5: Suns to earn 1st Team All-Defense honors before Mikal Bridges

Suns forward Mikal Bridges made the NBA's First Team All-Defense as announced Friday, becoming the first Suns player to do so since 2007.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones speaks to the media regarding the firing of Suns head coac...
Kevin Zimmerman

Phoenix Suns salary cap Q&A for the 2022 offseason

Here's a quick Q&A covering how the Phoenix Suns might navigate this offseason from a financial perspective.
1 day ago
(Instagram/LeagueFits)...
Jake Anderson

Suns’ Devin Booker wins LeagueFits MVP, Chris Paul named to 2nd Team

Phoenix Suns All-Star guards Devin Booker and Chris Paul were recognized for their drip off the court by LeagueFits on Friday.
4 days ago
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns steals the ball from Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks ...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns’ Mikal Bridges named to NBA’s 1st Team All-Defense

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges was named to the NBA's First Team All-Defense, the league announced on Friday.
4 days ago
Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder, center, pass the ball to teammate JaVale McGee (00) as he drives ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns’ offseason questions: How Phoenix can remake role player ecology

The Suns could be faced with trading veterans and retooling their bench to save money and better complement Devin Booker and company.
4 days ago
GM McDonough: Suns trying to replace production of injured Devin Booker