The Phoenix Suns are one of the
deepest teams in the NBA, and that was on display in their 118-108
win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of the NBA
Sure, Devin Booker had a
superstar performance, overcoming early shooting struggles to
finish with 31 points, 7 threes, 6 assists and 5
However, Phoenix’s supporting
cast also stepped up in a big way.
Mikal Bridges had 27 points (on
8-of-15 shooting), 7 rebounds and 3 threes. Jae Crowder, Cam
Johnson and Torrey Craig combined for 25 points while shooting
8-of-15 from the field (53.3%) and 7-of-12 from three-point range
“That's just team basketball,”
Booker said. “It's not just me, it's 1-through-5. It's all the
collective group, it's team basketball and that's why I feel like
we have been successful for most of the year… That's all of us.
Everybody can play. Everybody's hoopers. Even the guys that aren't
playing [for us] can play on any other team and are still a big
part of how we continue to grow, how we continue to get
The Suns kept driving and
kicking it out to their shooters, and it felt like they couldn’t
miss. Phoenix finished with 20 threes on 50% shooting from beyond
the arc, after making just 11 threes and shooting 32.4% from deep
in Game 1 (although they still won that contest).
“With our team, we got shooters.
shooters,” Chris Paul
said. “And I say this all the time, it's nice when you kick it to
the guy and you expect him to make it. Like, I get mad at some of these guys when they
miss it. They miss it and I'm like, ‘Come on man, you don't miss
that in practice!’ And it's different, too, when you know the work
that they put in. When shootaround is over, practice is over,
everybody's still in there shooting. So, that's the trust that you
build because you know the guys put in the work.”
“We know how hard we work; the
second unit, first unit, last dude off the bench, don't matter,”
Deandre Ayton added. “Everybody has the same work ethic. Everybody
has to bring it. Coming into practice, everybody has to come in
early, get some work in. Everybody has to touch the ball, put shots
up, do something, and that's why we're so consistent in what we do
Booker started the game shooting
2-of-10, which he explained by saying he was "amped, excited...
rushing a few shots." However, once he calmed down, he caught fire.
From that point on, he made 10-of-15 shots.
Crowder had a strong bounce-back
game after struggling offensively in Game 1 (when he shot 0-of-8
from the field and 0-of-5 from three). In Game 2, he finished with
11 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 threes and 1 steal while
shooting 50% from the field and 60% from three.
“Obviously, our team is deep
enough — we have enough to get it done, even if I have an off
night, even if Book have an off night, even if Chris has an off
night,” Crowder said. “We have enough to get it done in our locker
room and we totally believe in one another. So, that Game  was
just a glimpse of what we have been preaching all year: we have
each other's back and my teammates had my back that
“Our team is built a little
different,” Paul added. “We have a real team – a team
where you can't just key in on one guy or two guys. Everybody on
our team is capable of having a big game and everybody is
comfortable and accepts their roles.”
At one point, in the final
minute of the second quarter, the Suns had a beautiful play where
they completed 11 passes and got Ayton an easy field goal under the
That play — with the stellar
ball movement and unselfishness — perfectly encapsulates what this
Suns team is all about.
“That's just who we are,” head
coach Monty Williams said. “One of our pillars is sharing the ball.
My time in San Antonio and being under Pop for all those years, I
learned that when the ball moves like that, one, everybody gets to
take ownership and, two, it can have an effect on the defense when
you move the ball. Now, it's not commonplace in the NBA to have
that many passes, but that was a huge momentum play for us. But
that's who we have been for two years.”
“We have a saying with our team,
it's called 'good to great,'” Paul added. “We pass up good shots to
get great shots, and it's the unselfishness of our team. Any coach
in America, I'm sure they would love to show their team that clip,
and DA finishes at the end.”
Now, the Suns are two wins away
from finishing this series and winning their first championship in