What a luxury for the Phoenix Suns to have Kevin Durant and Devin Booker on one team! The two stars are talented isolation scorers that demand attention from defenses at all teams. Leave one guy alone, and the other will torch you all game long. That was the case in Game 3 against the Clippers: with LA focusing on Kevin Durant, Booker was left to gobble up the rest of the defense. After the game, Suns head coach Monty Williams jokingly lamented the plight of Kevin Durant, per Shane Young.
“”I feel bad for Kevin sometimes because he’s an expensive decoy out there.” Monty Williams, with a laugh, on Kevin Durant opening up the floor for Devin Booker.”
If your decoy is still scoring nearly 30 points per game, that’s a damn good decoy. Durant is arguably the greatest isolation scorer in the NBA today. His long frame and automatic shooting makes him a consistent threat. As a result, teams often focus Durant on defense, sending doubles his way. That’s good news for the Suns, as that means that Devin Booker is more likely to have an open lane.
Game 3 is the perfect example of this “decoy” set-up working perfectly. Durant was harassed by the Clippers defense all night long. That left Booker to work one-on-one against the depleted LA defense. The Suns star guard shined, dropping an efficient 45 points to lead them to a Game 3 win. In addition, Durant still got his: 26 points on above 50% shooting isn’t too bad from your “decoy”.
There will certainly be times when the script will flip. Now that Booker’s white-hot, the Clippers might elect to double-team him instead of KD. The Suns are reaping the rewards of their mid-season trade. We’ll see if they can keep this up and eliminate the pesky LA squad.
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