Devin Booker has been under the microscope during these NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite having an excellent debut in the playoffs and a decent Finals series from a numbers perspective, his decision-making has come under scrutiny, especially over the last few games.
Most notably, his turnover in the dying moments of Game 5, where Jrue Holiday stripped him of the ball. That turnover helped Milwaukee seal the game, as Holiday set up Giannis for an incredible lob. But surprisingly, this isn't the first time that Booker has been in a situation like this. And he could have been way better prepared for it too.
In a video from two years ago, Devin Booker, Joachim Noah, and other fellow NBA stars were playing in an open gym pick-up game during the off-season. During the game, Booker was being guarded, when former Defensive Player Of The Year Joakim Noah told Tony Snells to go double Devin Booker.
Booker ended up losing the ball, and let Noah hear it. He didn't want to see double-teaming happen in an open gym game, remarking that they have to deal with that during competitive regular-season games. However, Noah was quick to respond, telling him that it is a part of the game, and so they must be ready for it whenever they play.
Booker: “We not doubling in open gym. I get that s**t all season. Let’s work on our game, bro.”
Noah: “Yeah, we are. It’s part of the game.”
At the time, many analysts, fans, and even fellow NBA players to Noah's side. The reception to that clip prompted Booker to respond on social media. However, this clip has been making the rounds now two years since it happened. Because of what happened in the NBA Finals. If the two videos are played simultaneously side by side, you'll see the similarities in the situation. And perhaps, if Booker had tried to practice and play his way out of a double team, maybe he wouldn't have turned the ball over to Jrue Holiday.