During this 2021 NBA season, we saw a lot of guys emerge and step up their games to the superstratum level. It is no secret that the elevation in their play led to a deep playoff run. In fact, the guy I am picking to take home the hardware this year is playing as we speak. But, will he be the 2022 NBA MVP?
2022 NBA MVP | Is Kevin Booker the One?
In just his sixth year, Devin Booker has already put the league on notice that he is one of the top players in the game.
Look no further than last night even. Despite the loss, he put up a miraculous 42 points on the road while being in foul trouble. I suspect that number would have been even higher if coach Monty Williams was not forced to take him out for a period in the second half.
Overall this postseason, his numbers have increased in his first-ever playoff appearance. He went from averaging 25.6 points per game in the regular season to 27.1 points per game and has officially set an NBA record of most points scored ever in a player’s first playoff run passing Hall of Famers Rick Barry and Julius Erving.
While 27.1 points compared to 25.6 may not seem like a lot, keep in mind that the games are often lower scoring with defenses playing much more aggressively each possession down.
With The Finals tied at two games apiece, I see last night as a glimpse of what Devin’s performances will look like the rest of the series. I suspect him to come out even more aggressive in Games 5 and 6 to send a message to Milwaukee that they cannot contend with them.
Going into the series, many liked Chris Paul, myself included, to take home Finals MVP if The Suns prevail.
Now that four games have gone, however, it is not far-fetched to say that Booker may take that from him. Despite all the career accolades, and affirmation attached to Paul, he has looked like a shell of himself recently while Booker has shown out in three out of the four Finals games.
The NBA Playoffs is a great stage to show the world how good Booker really is. It is crazy to think that he is just entering his prime at age 24.
People often forget that Booker scored an incredible 70 points in a game as a baby at age 20 which made him the youngest to score at least 60/70 in a game in NBA history.
Yes, it did come in a loss in a so-called meaningless regular-season game, but it just goes to show how incredible this guy was already entering the league.
Before Ayton was drafted and CP3 was brought over, The Suns were a laughable franchise and had a terrible supporting cast surrounding him.
Once Booker finally got some help however, you can see what he can actually do in meaningful games.
I expect Booker will elevate his game even more this summer and “Be Legendary”, as the late great Kobe Bryant once told him.
Do not be surprised if Booker averages at least 30 points per game next year with the Suns being a top seed once again in the Western Conference.
Phoenix has an extremely bright future, and it all starts with Devin.