EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Devin Booker to Mikal Bridges in transition is Suns’ top connection

Nov 9, 2021, 3:24 PM
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns slam dunks the ball against the Sacramento Kings during the s...
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns slam dunks the ball against the Sacramento Kings during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on October 27, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Suns 110-107. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — If the Phoenix Suns force a live-ball turnover, you should always look for Mikal Bridges.

If he’s on the court, he’s flying up it and filling the lanes. And if Devin Booker is in too, he knows that better than anyone.

Through nine games this season, Booker has assisted Bridges in transition 10 times.

On a handful of these, keep an eye on where Bridges is to start the play. Even though he’s behind the defense on some occasions, his sprinting finds him space.

And a few of these include some pretty ridiculous catches by Bridges too. He has joked in the past that he is a wideout on the football field with those hands.

“I think, just ball skills growing up,” Bridges said on Nov. 1. “Playing every single sport growing up that you could think of. My mom put me in every single camp. Basketball camp, tennis camp. I just love playing sports man and that’s just having a feel for that.”

Bridges, in general, has been more aggressive this season. The Suns have been using the fourth-year wing as the primary option in sets more often as Bridges gets more accustomed to a higher usage role.

“We’re on his [expletive] every day, and I know it, for real,” Booker said on Oct. 22. “It comes from me and [Chris Paul] often because it helps our whole entire team when he’s playing aggressively like that. It takes a lot of pressure off a little bit of everybody.”

Bridges’ field goal attempts per game are up from 9.3 to 11.1 and with that, his elite efficiency is still there. He’s shooting a bonkers 58.0% from the field, including a ridiculous 30-of-33 (91%) at the rim, per Cleaning the Glass. He’s the Suns’ second-leading scorer at 15.3 points a night.

To that point, he has 15 dunks in nine games after logging just 38 last season.

It’s one of the biggest ways the Suns could be even better this season and we’re getting positive indications a few weeks in.

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