On Wednesday night, With Kevin Durant in the starting lineup, the Suns were able to pull off their first victory of the season.. The Suns jumped out to an early 20-point lead over the short-handed Charlotte Hornets and never looked back. Durant with 23 points on 10-15 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and Devin Booker with 37 points on 15-26 FG, 7 assists, 6 rebounds) were instrumental in the victory.
With a starting lineup that also included Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, and Josh Okogie, Durant shined. Part of it was a touch clumsy, of course, but as Monty Williams put it, Kevin Durant erases a lot of mistakes. “We’ll both be out there at the same time,” ker said of himself and Kevin Durant.
“It’s nice when you can pass the ball to someone and know that they’ll make it to their shooting area and have a solid chance at scoring,”Williams
It seems effortless for Durant. We just strolled right up to his favorite shots, jumped up higher than anyone could challenge, and started knocking down smooth jumpers left and right. Seeing that person in a Suns uniform makes you happy.
The feeling is fantastic, Book remarked. Firstly, I’m a fan. he never expect that he would get the opportunity to see KD, one of the best, play for my team. The good news is that he has arrived.
After spending 15 minutes together in three separate periods, Durant and the starting five were just a plus one. The points Durant contributed came primarily from his teammates off the bench.
Durant’s total of 26 minutes, nearly 8 came with four reserves at the opening of the second and fourth quarters. Throughout that time frame, the Suns went from -9 to +9.
In his postgame interview with Duane Rankin, Booker predicted that the two of them would never be off the field at the same moment.
The words must have brought a sense of comfort to Suns supporters everywhere.
It’s always tense to watch Ish Wainright, Cam Payne, Damion Lee, Torrey Craig, and Jock Landale struggle to score the ball when head coach Monty Williams plays a five-man all-bench lineup to rest his starters for a few minutes every week.
You got the impression last night that they had spent a lot of time playing together, didn’t you? In reality, all-bench lineups only saw action for 2 minutes and 31 seconds, but were a minus-7 during that time.
For the foreseeable future, it appears like Durant will open the second and fourth quarters, while Booker will conclude the first two quarters. Durant and Booker play 36 minutes per game on average, thus the Suns can get by with four bench players and still win.
Each of Book’s appearances, late in the first quarter and late in the third quarter, ended before the period’s final buzzer sounded. Last season, Book’s regular playing time included the last minutes of the first and third quarters. And if Durant starts the second and fourth, that’s the bridge the bench units need.
Two years ago, the Suns would close out the first and third quarters with Booker and open the second and fourth with Paul. Paul’s reliance on the bench units to score has decreased this season since he is unable to create as many scoring opportunities for himself. We know how that turns out. The Suns have dropped from ninth in the league in offense in 2021 to third in the league in 2022, and the drop is due in large part to the offensive.
The Suns’ offense will improve greatly moving ahead. The club as a whole has a low offensive rating of 113 (ranked 17th) and is 5 points per game behind the league leaders, but Book has a rating of 117. To put it another way, Durant’s age is 122. (from Brooklyn, and one game with the Suns). Each of Ayton and Paul’s ages 119. The Suns’ offense will improve as long as we get to watch those four play more. Find out more here at toponlinesportsbetting.ph.