Before Devin Booker stood up on Monday to end his post-match video conference, he had another thing to say. He must call the ball first.
Someone under the camera turned it over to him, and when Booker grabbed it, he gave a megawatt smile.
“Yes, this is you!” he said, tucking the ball under his arm. “It sold 1 million on Ebay!”
The ball belongs to Chris Paul, who was shown to him in the locker room after the Phoenix Suns defeated the Milwaukee Bucks with a 128-127 overtime record. He was shown to him in the NBA Magic Johnson. Ranked fifth in assists. At the other end of the milestone, Booker dunked and then passed the ball to Paul. Paul said he wanted to send it out.
Paul said: “The first thing I want to do is send the ball to the magician to see if he will sign for me.”
For the Suns, this is a night of celebration and reflection. Paul’s personal achievements have become the team’s biggest collective night this season. The Milwaukee victory was not only one of the best games of the NBA season, but it also provided the affirmation that young, promising teams crave.
Suns coach Monty Williams said: “The playoffs are everything.” “Emotions. Body. Players play. Late game. All of this. Our flexibility and ruthless attitude on the way to overtime fully demonstrates Chu The character room of the guy in the locker.”
Last summer, the Suns broke the Orlando bubble with an 8-0 score, laying the foundation for the upcoming season. The culture under Williams’ leadership has taken on a new look, focusing on development, detail, and defense. Suddenly, the sun had some expectations.
Then they added Paul.
Williams said: “I don’t have enough time to talk about everything he did.” “He brought such an achievement-he improved the mentality of winning. All of us want to win. But when you see a distance People who do this, and then look at how he eats and exercises how he has it every day, and then when he can be in that state during the game and really improve our team level, it’s really cool to watch the game.”
However, the bubble baby stage is over. You will feel that the sun is a little tired of talking about it. Last summer, they achieved good results in Orlando, Florida, and restarted the game. They were fine at that time. They think they can be great now.
“Yes,” Booker said bluntly when asked if he expected it to be Booker after Phoenix TV added Paul. “Straight.”
Paul has long-term leadership skills. His technical ability goes beyond the bottom line, his brain thinking and competition ability, as well as the ability to communicate with teammates and enforce accountability. These things are known. But he had to regain his reputation with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. It was impossible to lead them into the five seeds in the West. When the Thunder were preparing to rebuild, Paul made sure that the Suns were the next he could improve. A team.
Williams said of Paul’s influence: “I can sit here all day and give you one story after another.” “Of course he will help me become a coach. Our dialogue in the game allows us to make some I can’t play synergy with him and can’t play games.”
Paul is the metronome that beats the sun, and the metronome is constantly mobilized to maintain consistency. Young teams can ride the wave of a season or even a game and feel uneasy about the lost streak, drama or lack of. Paul rarely feels upset, he is an aggravating blanket for every pressure point. Whether it’s stopping the game’s soothing mid-range jumper, stopping fouls to curb motivation, or putting Booker on Monday after Bucks’ Khris Middleton practiced a late kidnapping three shots. On the side for quick and immediate guidance. Paul’s face, he picked his place.
Deand Ayton of the Suns said: “Pay attention to details. Approach the game in the right way. See something small and think forward.” “Not thinking like an ordinary basketball player, but going forward. Think, know what the team’s tendencies are and how we can get better, how can we adjust offense or defense. Make a sound early. Just be aware of any small things.”
Ayton added: “He really gave people the best things.” “He wants the best for you, he will talk to you and teach you. This is how many players to hire to help the team.”
It’s like Paul’s moments after the Magic team tempered the respect and respect he showed in the young locker room in Phoenix. He is a member of the Hall of Fame and everyone on the team knows it. This intangible influence is an example, and only the series of professional achievements compiled by Paul bear an example.
Booker said: “I am inspired every day. I tell Chris every day. This is not something I take for granted.” “I stirred his brain. I listened to him carefully. I watched his actions, even though he When I’m not talking or leading us, I’m just looking at how he conducts business. There is a lot of respect for him, not just respect from him. Me, but alliance and global.”
Ayton said: “Every time this guy plays, he proves that he is a’point of God’. To break milestones and similar things, get honor, and I am honored to be one of them. After he got the game ball, I did With him, we all celebrated, and I thought, “I thank you, man. I am honored to be involved. This is crazy. “
“Winning the game is another matter, but when you really see the footsteps that you want to increase, or the type you want to be respected in the league and you are with that person every day, it’s a different feeling . You want to play a bigger role. Because this person is doing the same thing as you every day to maintain his advantage in the game and help the team win and do his best.”
In January, the Suns lost a three-game losing streak, and after falling to .500, the locker room was full of frustration. Paul did not say that the team was not good enough, but that their performance was not good enough. But the message is clear: he expects more from them, and he will do everything possible to show it.
Now, nearly three months later, after defeating the champion contender in a high-level round-trip match, the Suns are 1.5 games behind the Utah Jazz in the Utah Jazz game and become the best seed in the Western Conference.
It’s hard to say winning, especially in this strange 72 game, but for a team like the Suns, every victory over a competitor can be used as a verification. The sudden rise from Bubble Cinderella to a clear title contender surprised the doubters. There is always an atmosphere of “The sun is a good story, but…” around them.
“I know our team, but what do I say?” Williams said. “It’s great to see it stand out in front of everyone else.”
Towards the end of the media on Monday, Paul was asked about Arden’s defensive efforts against Bucks superstar Guinness Antetokounmpo. While praising the young center, Paul mentioned the unique game plan the Suns must deploy for Antetokounmpo. But he added a random line, perhaps subconsciously, accidentally, or intentionally.
Paul casually said: “These games are here, we are in the West, in the East.” “The only thing we can see them again is in the finals.”