NBA Finals 2021

NBA Finals 2021: Ranking Devin Booker's five toughest buckets from Game 2 shot-making clinic

Devin Booker couldn't find his groove early on in Game 2, missing his first four shot attempts before finally seeing one go through.

The Phoenix Suns superstar missed his next three shots, getting out to a rough 1-for-7 start from the field in the first 10 minutes of the contest. But you know what they say... shooters shoot.

The 24-year-old's confidence didn't waver, as he continued to let it fly to try and shoot himself out of a funk. The result: a team-high 31 points while going 7-for-12 from beyond the arc, converting 10-of-17 attempts from the field after a slow first quarter.

In the process, Booker gave us a tough shot-making display for the ages on the NBA Finals stage. The prolific sniper had the Milwaukee Bucks defence looking hopeless at times, knocking down jumper after jumper, regardless of how tightly guarded he was.

With respect to the number of "good defence, better offence" shots he made, let's rank the five best from Game 2.

5. Creating space

This is sort of a standard stepback, but there is nothing ordinary about how quickly Booker is able to create separation from PJ Tucker.

Tucker gets caught up on Ayton's screen, stumbling for a split second, but that's all the time that a sharpshooter like Booker needs. Once he goes to that hard-dribble to keep Tucker off-balance, he is able to launch himself back and rise up to get a clean look at the hoop. Even though Tucker does an impressive job of recovering to try and disrupt his vision, Booker has already released the shot before the late closeout can affect him in any way.

Booker was 2-for-9 from the field until he knocked this one down, and he never looked back.

4. Hand down, man down

I would say this is a typical "no, no, no... yes!," situation, but head coach Monty Williams looks as calm as can be watching Booker size up his opponent.

The Suns try to push the ball up the floor in transition for an easy bucket off of a defensive rebound but the Bucks do a great job of hustling back. Once Paul skips the ball to Booker in the corner and Khris Middleton closes out perfectly, you'd think it's time to pull it out and set up the offence.

Booker had other plans, though. Up-fake, jab... wait, this looks familiar.

MORE: Booker, Giannis take Kobe's influence to the Finals

Channeling his inner Mamba Mentality, Booker hits Middleton with the signature Kobe Bryant size-up before burying a tough corner 3-ball right between his eyes.

Booker's role model was smiling from above after that one, for sure.

3. Balance, find your balance

There is one underlying theme among all of the weapons in Booker's bag - immaculate footwork. He often looks like a ballerina, pivoting softly until he can find a split-second window to look at the rim and get a shot off.

In this case, Booker finds himself at the elbow with nothing but commotion going on around him. Despite the traffic, he's able to get Tucker on a slight up-fake while somehow maintaining his balance. He hardly even sets himself before rising up, but all he needed was that quick glimpse at the basket.

With how high he elevates on his pull-up, I'm not sure he even felt the pressure of the defence around him. Nothing but the bottom of the net.

2. A dance with a former Defensive Player of the Year

This is one of those makes where the defender just has to shake their head and laugh. It just so happens that this particular defender is 6-foot-11, a former Defensive Player of the Year and four-time All-Defensive Team selection.

Booker has Giannis Antetokounmpo on an island and likes what he sees. I'm shocked we didn't get a "may I have this dance?," from Mark Jackson on the call.

Antetokounmpo is able to stay with Booker on the stepback because of his length, playing tight enough defence to make him hesitate shooting for a brief moment. Pat Connaughton even comes over to double down, but Booker had his Blinders badge activated from NBA 2K.

I mean, come on.

Like I was saying before... it doesn't get much "good defence, better offence," than this.

1. What 7-footer?

One of the shots that broke the Bucks' back.

They clawed their way back in it, bringing themselves within six points to have a chance to try and stage a comeback. Playing stout defence for 20 of the 24 seconds on the shot clock, Milwaukee was one stop away from potentially making it a one-possession game in the fourth quarter.

Brook Lopez was caught out on Booker Island, hoping his 7-foot-6 wingspan would be enough to alter the last-second shot attempt. After getting to his side-step, I'm not even convinced Booker noticed there was a 7-footer standing in front of him.

If you need to know what type of rhythm Booker eventually got into in Game 2, look no further than this clip right here.

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