On Thursday night, the Phoenix Suns routed the Washington Wizards 118-98 at Footprint Center.
With the win, the Suns, who had eight players in double figures, are 23-5 on the season, the team’s best start to a season through the first 28 games since the 2004-05 season.
Chris Paul, the only man with 20,000 points and 10,000 assists in NBA history, leads the NBA in assists per game(10.1). According to JaVale McGee, who had a team-high 17 points in 16 minutes against Washington, Paul, who had a team-high six assists Thursday, can see any and everything on the court.
“He’s a mind; he’s like a mega-mind when it comes to basketball,” McGee explained about Paul. “And the fact that he’s a point guard who controls the ball the whole game is even better. He sees things before they happen; he sees things that happened four plays ago that he can tell you about. His mind is just really basketball-oriented, and he knows where guys are supposed to be, and he knows where to put the ball. And when you have a point guard like that as your starting point guard, the backup point guard looks up to him and takes nuances from him, and it just trickles down.”
Phoenix is still getting it done without their leading scorer, Devin Booker, who missed the last seven games with a hamstring injury. That includes Landry Shamet, who started his seventh straight game for Booker and added 16 points, including four threes against Washington.
McGee says the Suns have that “next-man mindset.”
“I think I’ve said this before; we have that next-man mindset,” McGee said. “So, (Landry) Shamet has been doing a great job stepping into that role, and when he goes back to the bench, he is still going to be a top-performing player. I don’t think it’s anything that we’ve done different, we just play our ball. It’s always been team basketball; Book (Devin Booker) just; weapons to score a lot of points around our team basketball. As a whole, we’re a good team at getting everybody the ball.”
Shamet added: “We’re deep for sure. I think more than anything is we play together; we trust each other, play the right way, and a way that enables us to have those numbers and multiple guys in double figures. Every night it could be somebody different in the spot. We have a lot of interchangeable pieces, guys who are comfortable in filling in different roles.”
Phoenix gets back at it on Sunday night against the visiting Hornets.