The Ringer: A Devin Booker experiment that would mimic Harden

Jan 3, 2019, 11:23 AM

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) goes up for a shot between Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier an...

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) goes up for a shot between Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier and guard Jerian Grant (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

What Houston Rockets star and former ASU guard James Harden is doing from behind the 3-point arc isn’t just unprecedented — it could spark a strategy for the next generation.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is one of the best-suited players to test it out.

That’s the main synopsis of an article on The Ringer, which called Harden’s uncanny number of 3-point attempts a potential “archetype” for big guards.

Entering Thursday, Harden is averaging 11.9 3-point attempts per game, which would break the record set by Steph Curry in 2015-16 of 11.2 per game. But Harden’s barrage over the last five games has been groundbreaking: While averaging 41.8 points per game, he has attempted 16.4 3-pointers per contest.

According to the Ringer, there have only been 48 games in which a player attempted at least 17 shots from behind the arc.

The article then goes on to hypothesize that Booker might be the next player to make a similar leap.

“There are a couple of key identifiers: The next Harden should be a bigger guard who has shown the ability to shoot 3s off the dribble, make plays for others, and get to the free throw line.”

At 6-foot-6, Booker is averaging 25.5 points and 7.2 assists per game. He is averaging the ninth-most 3-point attempts per game and his 6.0 free throw attempts is fifth-most among guards.

The Suns have already given ample time to the “Point Book” with the 22-year-old manning the floor.

Booker has exhibited the ability to facilitate and get teammates involved. The Ringer said the Suns are attempting to build a “proto-version of the Rockets with Booker in the Harden role.”

“Booker has developed an unfair reputation as a player who puts up empty stats on bad teams. He’s no longer just a gunner. He makes players around him better, and the Suns have been playing significantly better basketball over the past few weeks.”

Seventeen 3-point attempts per game is extreme. But if Harden continues this trend and the Rockets prove they can be as competitive as last season behind his unorthodox styles, Booker could be in position to test his own limits, too.

Phoenix Suns

Fans of the Phoenix Suns poses for photos outside of Footprint Center before Game Three of the NBA ...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns to host 2027 NBA All-Star Game, per report

The Phoenix Suns are reportedly set to host the 2027 NBA All-Star Game. It will be the fourth NBA All-Star Game in Arizona.

2 hours ago

Royce O'Neale #00 of the Phoenix Suns is congratulated by Kevin Durant #35 after a three-point shot...

Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns’ supporting cast steps up to hold Lakers off

A big-time afternoon from the Phoenix Suns' supporting cast got them the win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

18 hours ago

Bol Bol...

Arizona Sports

Bol poster, Allen buzzer beater punctuate highest-scoring quarter for Suns in win vs. Lakers

The Phoenix Suns dropped a season-high 45 first-quarter points to spring ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at Footprint Center. 

21 hours ago

Jusuf Nurkic...

Damon Allred

Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic to return vs. Lakers; Bradley Beal remains out

Suns center Jusuf Nurkic is available to return for a Sunday matchup with the Lakers after sitting out Friday with a right ankle sprain.

24 hours ago

Bol Bol #11 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of the NBA game against the Miami Heat...

Kellan Olson

Suns waste Bol Bol outburst, squander opportunity in loss to Rockets

The Suns had a golden opportunity in the first half and got an incredible Bol Bol performance in the second half only to still lose.

3 days ago

Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony #15 of United States celebrates after defeating Serbia during the ...

David Veenstra

Suns’ Kevin Durant moves to No. 9 on NBA’s scoring list, passes Carmelo Anthony

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant moved past Carmelo Anthony for ninth overall on the NBA's all-time scoring list on Friday.

3 days ago

The Ringer: A Devin Booker experiment that would mimic Harden