Yahoo Sports senior NBA insider Chris Haynes and senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill connect on the latest “Posted Up with Chris Haynes” podcast to discuss the Suns guard’s hamstring injury and how it affect Phoenix’s first-round series against the New Orleans Pelicans. Hear the full conversation on the Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHRIS HAYNES: Devin Booker suffered a hamstring injury. New Orleans got game 2. The series tied at 1 to 1, headed back to New Orleans. Is Phoenix in trouble with this situation?
VINCE GOODWILL: No, they're not in trouble. Trouble would imply danger. Now, might they be in trouble-- and you know what? I was gonna say they might be in trouble next round, but they might not, you know what I mean? 'Cause you're playing the winner of Dallas--
CHRIS HAYNES: Hold on, Vince. Vince, you being very disrespectful.
VINCE GOODWILL: No, no, wait. What I'm saying is this. I think Phoenix is deep enough and good enough that they can survive this injury. Don't get me wrong. New Orleans is no joke. Willie Green has got those guys believing.
What New Orleans has to do is be able to play with prosperity. And when you're playing with house money and you're down 10, it's real easy to play loose and free. Now you've gotta play with expectations. Now you've gotta play with this opening of hey, y'all, we can win this series, so we can do more than just steal a game or two.
I don't think that Brandon Ingram or CJ McCollum are gonna get tight. Brandon Ingram is just unstoppable. But I'm talking about the guys who haven't had the pressure on them just quite yet. Let's see how they play with prosperity.
And for Phoenix, they're used to playing without somebody all season long. Chris Paul was out for an extended period of time. Devin Booker was out early in the season. You know what I mean? They've played with a lot.
Of course, you can plug Cam Johnson in at three. You can slide Mikal Bridges down to two, and you can feel reasonably comfortable with what you have. If Phoenix is the team that we think they are, as great as Devin Booker is, they should still be able to win this series. I'm not saying they'll win it easily. Chris, they should be able to win this series, right?
CHRIS HAYNES: Yeah, they should be able to. What I will say is that I disagree with you slightly. I do think they're in the danger zone, because the series is shifting back to New Orleans. And this is what I will say. I believe Booker missed seven games--
VINCE GOODWILL: With a hamstring. This is not the hamstring he got hurt early on in the season. This is the other hamstring.
CHRIS HAYNES: And he had a COVID bout.
VINCE GOODWILL: And he had a COVID battle.
CHRIS HAYNES: So with that being said, Devin Booker is the only consistent scorer. He's the one potent scorer--
VINCE GOODWILL: The one guy to get a bucket. The one guy that can get a bucket.
CHRIS HAYNES: A guy can get a bucket.
Now, look, Chris Paul has his spurts, but he has the luxury of picking his spots if Devin Booker is not right or if the team's system isn't flowing well, offensively. But that's where I feel like the Phoenix Suns could be in trouble, because now, where are you gonna get your consistent buckets from? Mikal Bridges is not up to the point where he can get his own shot.
VINCE GOODWILL: Cam Johnson.
CHRIS HAYNES: Cam Johnson, spot-up shooter.
VINCE GOODWILL: Cameron Payne.
CHRIS HAYNES: Yeah, Cam Payne.
Look, should they? Yeah, they probably still should. But New Orleans-- they're hot right now. They got momentum. I just think-- CJ McCollum over there-- it's a new team.
Vince, I think they're a little bit of a danger, man. I really do. I think this is a bad time to go out, but with that being said, if there's a team that can do it, it would be them, for sure.
VINCE GOODWILL: I think it's going to be a more compelling series than I would have thought otherwise. And if you're Phoenix, you have to be really conservative with this because of his hamstring history, because you don't want to tweak something now that may be a 10-day injury or even a two-week injury, and this turns into a three-month injury or six-month injury. You've gotta be really, really careful.
I think he missed seven games in 20 days, Chris. I think it was 20 days, I remember. So that's three weeks from now. That puts you at the tail end of the second round, if it's that great of a hamstring injury, if it's that severe. So they gotta be careful with that.