Opinion: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton show how they have become a perfect trio in the Game 1 victory against the Bucks

PHOENIX – The moment captured the love that the stars of Phoenix Suns have for each other. He also showed their willingness to call each other.

Sitting in the press conference room after the Suns’ 118-105 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, veteran goalkeeper Chris Paul listened intently to what third-year center Deandre Ayton had to say. One of the most interesting comments focused on how Paul, Ayton and sixth-guard Devin Booker learned how to coexist.

“We all met and had honest conversations where we needed to adjust,” Ayton said. “But honest conversations lead to victories, and it started to be a great communication and constructive critique and we just all think it’s positive and we play together.”

So when Paul came on stage, he failed to focus on his 32-point performance on shooting 12 of 19 with nine assists. He also focused on Ayton’s double in points (22) and rebounds (19).

“He has the biggest heart and is one of the best kids you will ever meet,” Paul said. “So the success and recognition he’s getting now is worth it, and I couldn’t be happier for another guy on our team.”

Paul then looked straight at Booker and said honestly, “Not even you, Book.” The two laughed before Booker threw his own dig. Before Paul, 36, walked under the stage, Booker jokingly asked if he needed a helping hand. Paul insisted not before thinking of Eaton, “We were in his ass.”

GAME 1:The Suns keep John, the Bucks able to take the lead in the front row

NO ASTERSK:Phoenix talks about opponents’ playoff injuries

LEADERSHIP:How Paul changed his style to unlock the best of the Suns

Yes, they have. After Paul gave Aiton some constructive criticism, Booker often asked, “Did you, Chris? Now let me tell him something. ” However, their momentum was not just to accelerate Ayton’s growth in his third season, as the Suns selected him No. 1 in the 2018 draft. He has focused on the three to figure out together how to bring the best together.

“Earlier in the year, there were some gray areas on how to help these kids play together,” said Suns coach Monty Williams. “These three are worth a lot of credit for the time they spent practicing talking about specific environments. I would like to tell you that I orchestrated them all. But we have given them a system and then these guys talk about the corners of the screens and their different ways of playing games that we have to be effective. “

The Suns showed how Paul, Booker and Ayton could effectively be perfect in Game 1.

After scoring 41 points post-season in a decisive victory in Game 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference finals, Paul maintained the same aggression in Game 1 against Milwaukee. But while Paul missed the first two shots, Booker scored 12 first-quarter points. Paul then returned the favor with 17 third-quarter points. In the meantime, Ayton easily made baskets from the pods and fed the Suns’s attacking attack with timely rebounds.

“Sometimes people take it as an argument or not, but I think it was all constructive,” Paul said of their conversations. “Speaking of rhythm, they made me make the ball faster on the pitch. Speaking to DA about the corners of the screens and you see as the season goes on how important this thing is, opening yourself up. I could show you the game after game that helped tonight. “

The Suns can show the general public many instances of how their trio worked well together.

Booker grew up idolizing Paul in the early stages of his 16-year career. But after the Suns acquired Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder before the season, Booker showed that he would not be afraid of him. When the two were fighting against each other, Booker became willing to publish it and talk about garbage. But this intensity only captured their competitiveness. It never became territorial. Booker was willing to postpone Paul to handling and leading. Ultimately, Booker called Paul “the greatest leader to ever play this game.”

“There is a zero self. I think this is the most important part,” Booker said. “We both want to see each other succeed. We both want to succeed, we all want the team to succeed. So when you are all on the same page, this is how relationships tend to happen.”

The relationship with Ayton played the same way. He took Paul’s abrupt words without complaint and embraced his regular advice on positioning and how to handle stressful moments. So it does not seem strange that 22-year-old Ayton has already adopted veteran moves to deal with the pressure.

Before and during Game 1, Ayton said he took three deep breaths and closed his eyes to make him feel the arena was empty. But Eaton did not just become a willing student. The shocks also returned.

When Paul stole one of Ayton’s rebounds late in the game, Ayton just laughed. Then Booker also mocks Paul.

“I do not really care,” said Booker. “I was just happy that we all proved it, to be honest.”

Paul sat on his back, smiling as he heard these words. Booker showed the same behavior when he watched Paul offer similar tablets. And soon, all three left the press conference room ready to dominate, plan and have fun again.

Follow USA TODAY NBA author Mark Medina Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for the various USA TODAY subscription offers.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *