After a 27-point outburst in the Phoenix Suns’ fourth game of 2018, Devin Booker’s scoring efficiency is down across the board. Why? It may have to do with his most deadly weapons being deadlier than ever and defenses adjusting accordingly.

Devin Booker is shooting a career-low percentage from the three-point line, but his deadliest weapons are deadlier than ever.

Devin Booker's Scoring Efficiency Is Down, but His Deadliest Weapons Are Deadlier Than Ever

Devin Booker, the standout guard for the Phoenix Suns, is looking sharp and profiling for the league’s top team. Booker seems to be enjoying himself as part of a team that suddenly looks like a permanent contender, from flashing $1,800 throwaway cameras at WNBA games to helping the Suns overwhelm opponents with his typical midrange assault.

His scoring stats, on the other hand, are down.

Booker has a 23.0 point per game average in his first 23 games, his lowest record since the 2016-17 season. His field-goal percentage of 45.8% is his lowest since the 2017-18 season.

Is there a problem with Book? Has he required time to acclimatize to the new ball, like others in the NBA? Despite what the raw metrics suggest, Booker is a more dangerous pure scorer than ever before.

Pull-up and step-back jumpers are converting at a greater rate for Devin Booker.

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Devin Booker’s ability to generate space and score in the midrange has been his most valuable attribute since entering the NBA. He and Chris Paul seem to be particularly good at it, especially when the stakes are high.

It’s a positive indicator, though, that his pull-up and step-back jumper efficiency has improved year after year.

Booker hit 47.7% of his pull-up jumpers in 2020-21, according to, and converted on 35.8% of his tries from beyond the arc. This season, the former Kentucky standout has a pull-up percentage of above 50%, including 37.9% from deep.

Booker has made over 54% of his step-back jumpers this season, up from just over 44% last season. He’s also 6-of-8 on step-back 3-pointers thus far, which is a tiny sample size.

Despite the fact that he does not seem to be the most dynamic athlete, Booker is a very explosive and shifty athlete. He can stop on a dime and rise up from any spot on the court, which throws opponents off guard. The Suns star routinely uses a 1-dribble step-back against Golden State Warriors great Stephen Curry, as seen in the above footage.

But what difference does it make if Booker converts a larger proportion of his dribble shots? It’s significant in part due to increased efficiency from beyond the arc.

Booker’s 3-point shooting % is at a career high.

Booker is now shooting the lights out from deep, having perfected the art of midrange scoring.

On 6.2 attempts per game, the 25-year-old is shooting a career-high 42 percent from outside the arc. In a victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, Booker tied his regular-season career best in triples.

Above-the-rim 3-pointers are regarded the most difficult to make, while corner triples are considered one of the most efficient shots in basketball. According to, Booker made just over 32% of his above-the-break threes last season. This year, the percentage has risen to 41.3 percent. It’s also not on a low volume. He’s already snatched 121 of those tries.

But wait, didn’t we say Booker’s scoring efficiency was on the decline? Despite improvements shooting off the dribble and from outside the arc, Booker’s true shooting percentage of 56.8% is the lowest he’s had since 2017-18.

There’s a reason for this, and it speaks well for Booker and the Suns in the long run.

Complete, complete, complete

Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker reacts during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker reacts during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers On December 21, 2021, Devin Booker reacts during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers | Getty Images/Meg Oliphant

Devin Booker has the ability to finish powerfully at the rim when he makes contact. He knows how to go around opponents and generate angles to the basket. This season, though, he’s having trouble scoring close to home.

After making 68.3 percent of his attempts at the hoop during the 2020-21 season, Booker is shooting 58.3 percent at the rim this season. He’s also shooting 41.3 percent in the 3-to-10-foot area after completing almost 48 percent of 3-to-10-foot opportunities previous season.

If the two-time All-Star can reclaim some of his previous finishing skills, he’ll be even more dangerous as a scorer in general. That’s great news for the Suns, who continue to benefit from a driven Deandre Ayton and a stingy Mikal Bridges, as well as CP3’s ever-present leadership.

Keep an eye on Booker’s development in terms of scoring. It might be the deciding factor in Phoenix’s victory.

Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.

RELATED: The Suns’ Championship Hopes Would Be Boosted Immediately With Thaddeus Young’s Arrival

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Devin Booker has been scoring at a career high rate, but his deadliest weapons are deadlier than ever. His three-point percentage is up to 45% from 38% last year, and he’s shooting threes more often than ever before. Reference: devin booker career high.

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