NBA All-Star Game: Chris Paul edgles Devin Booker’s team, continuing as one of NBA’s best winning bets

If you were one of the outlaws of Chris Paul a few years ago, Tuesday was another reminder of just how horrific that was when Paul, who is threatening the 50-40-90 season, was announced to second straight and 11th career All-Star team over his argument deserves player Devin Booker.

Whichever side of the Paul-Booker All-Star fence you stand on, let this be your last call unless you pay close attention to the Phoenix Suns. Entering Tuesday, despite three time losses, they are tied in the loss column with the Lakers and Clippers for the league’s fourth-best winning percentage. They are one of two teams, along with the Jazz, with a top eight offense and defense. And if the playoffs started today, the Suns would have a way to the Western Conference finals that avoid both LA teams.

This is, quite simply, what Chris Paul does.

If you are already a good team, it makes you better.

If you are a broken team, it will calm you down.

Unlike the Hornets and Clippers BC (Ro Chris), the BC Suns weren’t a broken team, to use. They had Devin Booker. They’ll forever regret not drafting Luka Doncic (or Jaren Jackson Jr. or Trae Young, for that matter), but despite starting numbers near the Booker-Paul combo, Deandre Ayton is a two-man guy -double with 20- 10 abilities if he could figure out how to reach the free throw line, like, ever. They blew the 76ers for Mikal Bridges, and the first-rounded 2019 Cameron Johnson pick-up look looks great.

However, the Suns had 13 games under .500 before going 8-0 in the Stomach, running in a strange position that no one knew how to measure. Now, six months later, they are seo. Booker is getting an All-Star season, probably a year better than Paul, but the math from adding Paul to your team just follows up. Take a look at the winning percentages of Paul’s five career teams in the season before his arrival, and the season after.

You watch the New Orleans Hornets team, which is not even the franchise now, and it’s easy to forget that Paul was drafted back in 2005. He’ll be 36 this May, the same age as LeBron James , which has grown the status of each person of unprecedented longevity. Paul is not LeBron. He has played 250 fewer role-playing games, and 151 fewer playoff games. But it is also six feet high. LeBron is playing in a Hulk suit. That Paul, as a little guard who never moved from physicality, still plays at this level almost like a LeBron-like prank.

Like LeBron, Paul, for all his laziness “can’t get a team over the postseason hump reports”, is a surefire thing for franchises. LeBron is the equivalent of an instant tournament, yes, but Paul has never had the supporting talent since he went to Miami and became a champion for recruitment. The same year James had no co-superstars, with the Lakers in 2018-19, he was doing everything he could to stay in the top four in the West, just as Paul does do now with the Suns.

That Hornets team that drafted Paul won 18 games the year before his arrival. They won 36 the following year. The Clippers were a joke before Paul. The first season the Rockets put Paul on what they were seo close to kicking the Kevin Durant-Stephen Curry Warriors in the conference finals before Paul tore his case and lost Games 6 and 7. The latter was the Rockets trading on Paul, they were worse. Last year’s Thunder was thought to be in full recovery mode after they traded Paul George and Russell Westbrook, just to make Paul better than they were when they had those two men.

And now here we have the Suns, which, for all Booker’s greats, have the Paul prints all over them. Start with tempo. Paul has always played happily, a kind of guy who is twice cut and prefers to control even an effective dose of chaos, precision over passing volume, and to indeed the Suns have gone from ninth pace last season (101.7 possessions every 48 minutes) to No. 29 this year, gaining an average of 97.4 possessions every 48 minutes.

That doesn’t mean they play slowly all the time. Paul pushes the ball aggressively, as he always has, but he is highly selective with the looks he allows, and that selectivity has rubbed on his new players. The Suns will not push for good views. They push for great shots. If there is a big bullet early, they will take it. The Suns lead the league with 1.22 points for every transfer possession. But they also take and take more pictures than any team in the league within the last four seconds of the bullet clock.

This ability to succeed in both early and late crime is one of the crazy things that makes Suns so dangerous. They are already getting a ton of good looks because Paul, who can get to his midrange spots at will, wants so much, patiently handling a crime that generates the third most widespread “broad” view (24.3 ) each game, which the NBA defines as the closest defender to be at least six feet away – but then, on the rare occasions that all of that work hits a wall, Booker has one of the best tight end manufacturers in the industry at Booker at Suns to accumulate property.

Entering Tuesday, Booker has scored 66 points within the final four seconds of the bullet clock, just slowing down LeBron, Fred VanVleet and Julius Randle, none of whom come close. the Booker 52 percent firing from the field or the 60 percent shooting out of 3 in those situations. All told, Booker has turned 51 of his 98 “tight” hits, defined as a defender within 2-4 feet, with an effective field goal percentage of 58.7, which follow just 59.8 Kevin Durant among all players who have at least taken. 50 beats like that.

That’s kind of an offensive type, and very luxurious for Monty Williams to always be one of Booker or Paul’s on the court, especially when playing with what is truly a mountain unit in Phoenix. Last season when Booker was out of court, the Suns worked at minus-5.8 points per 100 possessions and the offense dropped 13 points per 100.

This year they are golden on all sides: When Paul and Booker are off, the Suns are plus-14.1 per 100; when Booker is on and Paul is off, they are a plus-13.6. So why is Phoenix just a plus-1.2 with Booker and Paul playing together? The answer is Ayton, who is not in danger of a 3-span. Take Ayton off, and every other record featuring Paul and Booker is a harmful plus-26.4 per 100 with offensive levels and incredible defense.

In short, the Suns are for real. They have a wonderful balance between youth and experience. They are fast and effectively slow. They are long and multi-protective for protection. They create easy pictures and make hard ones. Booker may be the best player, but this is Chris Paul’s team, who stayed as good as ever.