On Sunday, the Nets and the Suns played in what looked like a real playoff-type matchup. Obviously, if they did meet in the playoffs, it would be to take home the title and hang a banner. The idea that the Nets and Suns would be fighting for a title five years ago seemed absolutely inconceivable. But here we are in inconceivable circumstances for these two teams and the whole world.
The Suns Ayton and Booker Show
Watching the two young stars in DeAndre Ayton and more so, Devin Booker has been an experience. From failed teams to making an amazing run in the bubble to bringing a facilitator like Chris Paul, Booker and Ayton have just about seen it all in their short careers. Deandre Ayton put up an impressive 20 points with 13 boards on Sunday while going 9-12 from the field, but the Sun was shining brightest on Devin Booker. 36 points while shooting 50 percent from the field, Booker is emerging more and more as a top guy in this league. With Booker, it is not so much “if” but “when” he will become a top 15 guy. I’d say the 24-year-old star will be there sooner rather than later under the tutelage of Chris Paul.
So, the story goes that nobody is sure how healthy KD really is. He has not made it to the 30-game mark this season, and that means he hasn’t played 30 games since he tore his Achilles in the Finals 2019. He came off the bench to play 28 minutes and drop a KD like 33 points on Sunday. If we are being honest, and I mean truly honest with ourselves, we just need to admit that Sean Marks, Steve Nash, and the whole Nets organization is just being extra cautious with Durant to make sure he is ready for the playoffs. This is a wild year, and games are packed together. They need him healthy when it matters most, and they are going to do whatever it takes to make sure that happens.
Who Would Win in Best of Seven?
This series has epic-type potential with both teams at full strength. It is hard not to imagine the Nets in five or six. With that said, Booker would likely have a night where he drops 40 plus, Ayton would end up bullying the Nets down low, and Chris Paul laying it all out for a Finals matchup would be Hardwood Classic worthy instantly. The storylines of James Harden versus Chris Paul. Nash, D’Antoni, and really the whole Nets staff and general manager playing against the team were never able to win a title with that they should have won. Ayton making a Finals before Luka, KD going to a Finals with his third team, the storylines are endless. They would have to go to six games just to fit them all in. It is not the most likely finals to happen, but it is a realistic one. If it does come about, it could be one of the most memorable ones in recent years.