Suns’ Monty Williams finds Devin Booker’s All-Star Game vote count ‘laughable’

Jan 27, 2022, 9:23 AM
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)...
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The NBA All-Star Game fan voting has definitely raised more than a few eyebrows, especially when looking at Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker.

As of last Thursday’s update, Booker was fifth among NBA guards with 867,222 fan votes behind the likes Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (1,240,781) and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (1,923,187).

That’s all despite Thompson having played just five games at the time of the fan voting returns, which makes up 50% of the weight on determining NBA All-Star starters, and the Mavericks yet to reach 30 wins.

On the flip side, Booker continues to put in an impressive 2021-22 campaign, with Wednesday’s 43-point outing further evidence the guard more than deserves starter status for the All-Star Game.

If you ask Suns head coach Monty Williams, there shouldn’t even be a debate.

“When he’s in a groove like that, I think our team feeds off of it,” Williams told reporters following Phoenix’s 105-97 win over Utah. “And what he’s done lately, I just kinda laugh at the voting numbers when I see it at the bottom of the ticker and so many guys are getting so many more votes than him.

“It’s laughable when you look at what he’s done not just of late but all season long and the wins we have. He should be a starter on the All-Star team and tonight was one of those games where he proved that point.”

The tape speaks for itself.

This season, Booker is averaging 25 points (second among NBA guards), 5.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and a steal over 33.5 minutes per game. He’s shooting 44% from the field and 37.7% from long range.

His most recent stretch, however, has been some of his best ball of the season.

Over the past nine games, Booker is averaging 30 points on 44.2% shooting to go along with 5.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.2 steals over 36 minutes per game.

The guard has had to take on more of the scoring load with key contributors such as center Deandre Ayton and forward Jae Crowder among those missing time recently due to injuries.

“I appreciate it, but I’m not worried about that anymore,” Booker told reporters when asked about Williams’ comments. “I’m in a different phase of my career. Like (Suns point guard Chris Paul) said after the another game, we’re trying to get coach into the All-Star Game.

“That’s our main objective, so we’re gonna keep handling business, doing what we have to do and let the politics or media popularity contest figure out itself.”

The Suns are back in action Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station at 7 p.m. for all the action.

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