For his first career playoffs, in 2021, Devin Booker was spoiled with participation in the Finals. The Phoenix guard had gone straight from premature holidays each season to the top (or almost, he only missed the final victory against the Bucks) of the league. All without going through the Game 7 box.
It will be for Sunday, against the Mavericks. The fourth to the votes of the MVP 2022 therefore has only a distant knowledge of this very special match. As a spectator.
“It’s a far different beast than I could imagine,” he tells the Arizona Republic, when he remembers Game 7 of the 2013 Finals between Miami and San Antonio. ” That’s exciting. I’ve never known that, a Game 7, it’s going to be fun. Afterwards, I would have preferred to sweep them away. »
It would have been less stressful, that’s obvious. Because there, the 2021 finalists are in danger. For his part, more experienced, Chris Paul is delighted to have two days off before this meeting, which had not yet happened in this conference semi-final. And also to dispute it in front of his audience in Arizona.
“We win or we go home”summarizes the playmaker, who has played seven Game 7 in his career. “We worked hard all season to get home advantage. It’s not enough to make sure you win, but I’d rather play at home than there. And believe me, I’m also taking that extra day off. »
After flying over the regular season (64 wins), the Phoenix troops are facing the first big test of their season. An elimination at this level would be a huge disappointment for the franchise.
“It could be our last game of the year,” recalls Deandre Ayton. “And the only time we had this feeling was last year in the Finals. You have to accept it and throw yourself into this Game 7. There is no room for mistakes in this game. »