Devin Booker on Critics of Finals Run: Suns Aren't 'Here to Justify What We're Doing'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 5, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 30: Chris Paul #3 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrate after winning the Western Conference Finals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 30, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns benefitted from some luck on their way to the NBA finals, but Devin Booker isn't apologizing for his team's run to this point.

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Devin Booker on the Suns advancing to the Finals on their merits as opposed to just beating teams that didn’t have some of their star players <a href="https://t.co/SMKfdnqdT1">pic.twitter.com/SMKfdnqdT1</a>

"We're not here to justify what we're doing to anybody else," Booker told reporters Monday.

The Suns surprised many by earning the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, representing a major turnaround after missing the playoffs in each of the last 10 seasons. The dream run continued with a trip to the NBA finals for the first time since 1993.

Of course, Phoenix was also fortunate to face some teams at less than 100 percent during the postseason.

Anthony Davis was limited for the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, while LeBron James was seemingly not at full strength after returning from his ankle injury. The Denver Nuggets had MVP Nikola Jokic but not No. 2 scorer Jamal Murray, who tore his ACL earlier in the season. The Western Conference Finals also featured an easier path without Kawhi Leonard after the forward suffered a knee injury in the previous round.

Even the NBA Finals feature a question mark as Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to recover from a knee injury that kept him out of the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Suns are still taking it one step at a time and aren't even celebrating during their current run.

"It won't hit me until it's all over. We are on this pursuit of doing what we set out to do," Booker said Monday. "... Our focus is to win four basketball games."

Phoenix will host Milwaukee in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday.