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Devin Booker is serving up crow

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We have that and more in Tuesday’s NBA newsletter.

Philadelphia 76ers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Dinner is on Devin Booker, and crow is on the menu. After a few years of the Phoenix Suns being in complete shambles while Booker scored buckets of buckets, with otherwise smart people questioning whether Booker was even a good player if his team was in such a sorry state, the Phoenix Suns are 5-2 after giving the Philadelphia 76ers their first loss on Monday. Booker scored 40 on 15-for-19 shooting as the Suns won by five. The Suns look competent. Booker looks like a star. The crow is flowing.

(I don’t know whether I’ll be eating any crow. My brain is becoming porridge In These Troubling Times, and I think I have been mostly optimistic on Booker’s outlook but there’s some potential I could get Milkshake Booked on a joke about volume scoring or something. I don’t think I’ve ever stooped to Booker truthing, but I can’t be 100 percent positive. I have my hot sauce ready just in case.)

Mike Prada laid out a great explainer as to why the Suns look so much better all of a sudden. In short, Monty Williams simplified everything on both ends and James Jones prioritized aiming for competent veterans over young prospects. The results speak for themselves. Gone are the days when the Suns’ priority was putting Booker back in the closing minutes of a 30-point game to get to 60 points.

We don’t know how long this will keep up, we don’t really know where Booker goes from here. But it’s a wonderful sign and proof that Booker’s buckets weren’t empty all along. Put him on a decent roster and in the context of a decent team and the dude still scores like crazy. Good for him. Fun player.

Scores

Pistons 99, Wizards 115
Pelicans 125, Nets 135
Rockets 107, Grizzlies 100
Bucks 134, Wolves 106
Sixers 109, Suns 114
Blazers 118, Warriors 127

Schedule

All times ET. Games on League Pass unless otherwise noted.

Pacers at Hornets, 7 p.m.
Celtics at Cavaliers, 7 p.m.
Spurs at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. (Trae Young is back)
Lakers at Bulls, 8 p.m., NBA TV
Magic at Thunder, 8 p.m.
Heat at Nuggets, 9 p.m.

Links

What a fun, exhilarating win for the Junior Warriors over the Blazers. Portland is dealing with some injuries of its own, but Hassan Whiteside played and did pretty well on offense. Eric Paschall and Ky Bowman are relentless! Pretty bad loss for Portland.

Ricky O’Donnell spitting flames on the trash heap that is Chicago sports right now, Bulls included.

I wrote about the top 12 or so MVP candidates extremely early on in the race.

Mike Rutherford ranks the top 100 players in the NCAA. Here’s 100-51. Here’s 50-1.

Michael Sykes on sneaker release systems being as broke as ever.

Matt Ellentuck on the shocking effectiveness of Dwight Howard and the Lakers’ supporting cast.

In yesterday’s newsletter, I wrote about the Heat throttling the Rockets, spending a few paragraphs discussing Miami’s stunning offseason come-up after using the headline and first paragraph to get off a joke about the South Beach flu. Apparently on Twitter, people only read the headlines and react to that. Who knew?! But seriously, Miami is good. That Heat-Nuggets game should be a doozy.

Beautiful, candid tribute from Ricky Rubio to his late mother.

Holy Brandon Ingram!

Jose Calderon is now a special assistant to players’ union executive director Michele Roberts.

Caitlin Cooper on the new-look, not-quite-modern Pacers.

Missing in D.C.: Mystics championship gear.

LeBron James is expanding his I Promise School in Akron to offer families transitional housing.

The Bucks do this hilarious, disturbing Reverse Eating Cam on their broadcasts and it captured the internet’s imagination this weekend. I can’t look away.

A lesson from Kim McCauley on there being no reason to watch terrible games that basketball fans could well take knowledge from.

This is probably just Anthony Davis saying something to not turn the Chicagoans against him while he’s in Chicago, but also flag it in your Davis memory banks for June.

Be excellent to each other.