Devin Booker Won't Play for Suns vs. Nuggets with Hamstring Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Phoenix Suns star shooting guard Devin Booker won't play Saturday because of a hamstring injury. 

Per NBA reporter Brendon Kleen, the All-Star guard has been ruled out against the Denver Nuggets. He left Friday's loss to the Nuggets in overtime with an apparent leg injury. 

Booker, 24, has been Phoenix's best player in recent years, flashing the ability to score at all three levels.

In 2018-19, he added more playmaking to his repertoire, leading the Suns in scoring (26.6 PPG) and assists (6.8 APG) while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from three. 

His usage rate of 32.0 percent was third in the NBA among regular players, trailing only James Harden (39.6 percent) and Joel Embiid (32.7 percent). 

He continued to be an offensive tour de force last season, averaging 26.6 points and 6.5 assists per game. Yes, his defense at times can leave much to be desired, but all in all he's shown steady growth every year and has become a true star.

Through 14 games this season, Booker is averaging 22.9 points and 4.1 assists per contest. The Suns are off to an 8-6 start, fourth in the Western Conference. 

For much of his career, the Suns have often relied on Booker to carry the offense as a scorer and playmaker.

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No longer. Booker now has a supporting cast that includes point guard Chris Paul, center Deandre Ayton and solid role players in Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Dario Saric and Cameron Johnson, among others. This is a talented group. It's playoffs or bust for Phoenix this year.

Those players will need to step it up if Booker is forced to miss significant time. Bridges and Johnson should see added minutes on the wing with Booker out of action. Replacing Booker's scoring won't happen, but if the Suns can tread water while he's out, they'll keep themselves in the postseason picture.