The Phoenix Suns showed glimpses of what life with Kevin Durant could be like during their 120-109 dismantling of the Sacramento Kings. On what was a horrible shooting night from three (7 of 22), they used the mid-range shot to take control of the game, and that was without the league’s deadliest mid-range shooter.

Just how good is KD from mid-range? Here’s an explanation from JJ Redick.

Whenever things started to look like they were going to swing back into the Kings’ favor, either Devin Booker, Chris Paul, or DeAndre Ayton were able to make a big bucket from that range, nullifying any momentum that Sacramento was building.

Ayton, in particular, impressed. He showed an array of hooks, turnaround jumpers, floaters, and straight up jumpshots in the victory on the way to 29 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocks.


Booker did Booker things, as he always does against the Kings, finishing the game with 32 points while shooting 13 of 20 from the field with zero three-pointers taken. Considering that he normally takes 6.4 threes a game, it’s telling that the Suns got a win without him taking a single triple.

Paul had perhaps the best statline of the game with 17 points, five rebounds, 19 assists and two steals. Many of those assists went to Booker and Ayton, and he’s going to get even more chances for dimes when Durant returns to the fold.

That threat from mid-range will open up a brand-new game for the Suns, because it will be nearly impossible to double team their starting lineup – but their skill from inside the arc will cause teams to panic and do it anyway. Durant, who is seven feet tall with shoes on, will command the same kind of attention that he did during his two Finals MVP runs with the Warriors. That will open up so much space for Booker, Ayton and Paul, and the chaos that those four will create will also mean that someone will always be open for a three.


In a league where the three-point shot is king, the Suns have found the best way to stay in games when their long bombs aren’t falling. That is a scary prospect for the rest of the league, especially when the game starts to slow down during the playoffs.

When you combine their potential from mid-range, plus the threat that Paul, Booker and Durant will still pose from beyond the arc, I find it difficult to think of a team that will not struggle to contain them. Their ability to make those jump shots will also open up driving lanes – something that Booker, Ayton and Durant will take full advantage of.

The big question mark, of course, is whether or not the Suns will stay healthy. Their three star perimeter players have all missed time in the last few seasons for a myriad of reasons. However, if they manage to avoid any injury problems, I think the Suns may be the team to come out of the West this season.