Devin Booker’s great 2018-19 season: By the numbers
The Suns’ 2018-19 season is coming to a close, and for many people, it has been one that would be better off forgotten.
For the fourth straight year, the team found itself with one of the worst records in the whole league. On top of that, they had some less than flattering information come out about their internal operations in an in-depth article done by ESPN.
There was one big bright spot in Phoenix, however, and that was the continued excellence of Devin Booker.
The 22-year-old’s fourth season in the league was his best one yet, as he put up the best stats of his young career and took another step toward NBA superstardom.
Here is Devin Booker’s 2018-19 season, by the numbers:
Booker has already been ruled out for the remainder of the Suns’ season, which means that he finished the year averaging 26.6 points, 6.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. These numbers put him in some great company, as only six players have finished a season averaging at least 26 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds per game since his debut in 2015.
These players are James Harden, LeBron James, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook and Booker. Not a bad list to be a part of.
The 26.6 points per game mark that Booker posted this season ranked eighth in the whole league, and helped further cement his place as one of the best scorers in the league right now.
Booker only trailed Harden, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Curry, Joel Embiid, James and Kawhi Leonard on the points per game leaderboard, and all of the names above him are widely seen as viable MVP candidates.
Not only did Booker increase his scoring output this season, but he also became more efficient while doing it.
Booker’s field goal percentage hovered around 43 percent for the first three years of his career, but this season, it jumped all the way up to 46.7 percent. This was mainly due to his increased efficiency on two-pointers, as his two-point field goal percentage rose almost eight percent from last year to this year.
Only James, Curry, Antetokounmpo, Leonard and Embiid averaged more points while shooting a higher percentage from the field than Booker did this year.
Because of the Suns’ lack of an established point guard, Booker was forced to take on playmaking duties on top of his scoring load. That part of his game improved a good amount as a result of this, as his 6.8 assists per game and 1.64 assist-to-turnover ratio were easily career bests.
Not many others were able to match Booker’s blend of scoring and playmaking, as he was one of only 3 players in the league (along with Harden and James) to average at least 26.5 points and 6.5 assists per game.
Although Booker’s total rebounds per game saw a slight decline from last year, he still ranked in the upper echelon of guards in that department.
Booker’s mark of 4.1 rebounds per game ranked No. 19 among guards and was only half a board away from landing him in the top 10 of that list.
Booker reached a number of different milestones this season, one of which being 5,000 career points. He reached this mark on career game No. 245, which made him the second-fastest Sun to do so behind Walter Davis, who did so in 215 games.
He also became the fifth-youngest player to reach 5,000 points, behind James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard.
Booker’s final act in the 2018-19 season was a great one, as he became the youngest player in NBA history to score 50 points in back-to-back games.
The first of these came on March 25, when he scored 59 points against the Jazz. Two days later, he followed that up by dropping 50 points and 10 rebounds against the Wizards.
Booker almost did it in three straight games as well, as he fell two points shy of the 50 mark against the Grizzlies in his next game.
Booker’s excellent game against the Jazz helped him reach another milestone, as he became just the sixth player in NBA history to have multiple games of 59 points or more. The first of these came two seasons ago when he scored 70 points in a game against the Celtics.
The other five names on this list are Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and James Harden. Again, not a bad group to be a part of.