After time in concussion protocols, Suns' Landry Shamet regains shooting touch against Bulls

Landry Shamet rode Devin Booker's 51-point tidal wave that washed out the Bulls by 22 in Phoenix on Wednesday.

As Booker was lights out for the best scoring performance by a Suns player ever at home, his backup two-guard Shamet produced his second-best production of this season (12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, all from deep) three rebounds, one assist and a steal, one turnover in nearly 19 minutes.

Shamet's 12 points tied Damion Lee's amount for the most off the bench, and Shamet regained his shooting touch again since he returned from concussion protocols in the win over Utah last Saturday.

“That always helps when you play with someone like that who’s always a magnet, draws so much attention, and even with all that attention is still scoring," Shamet said to The Republic about Booker in the postgame. "So I mean it was like nobody else on the floor even existed. It always helps playing with him."

Bulls coach Billy Donovan said after the game there was nothing they could do in trying to trap, blitz, faceguard, use a box-and-one defense on Booker, who finished on an astounding 20-of-25 FG. The Suns' strike-first mode led by Booker and Deandre Ayton (season-high 30 points, 14 rebounds) opened up Shamet's scoring opportunities.

Nov 30, 2022; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet (14) is fouled by Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (9) in the second half at Footprint Center.
Nov 30, 2022; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet (14) is fouled by Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (9) in the second half at Footprint Center.

Shamet hit two 3s in two straight Suns' possessions early in the second quarter to get himself going.

"Having Landry and D-Lee be playmakers as well, to take a load from Book. It is amazing, man," Ayton said. "This team is all about the next man up. Not all about having our main guys. Guys are on this team ready to contribute and play.

"Landry, Cam (Payne), and D-Lee are the main focal points when it comes to that. Especially playmaking and feeding me the rock. Spacing out the floor for me and Book when we are in action.”

Shamet's best game thus far this season was the Suns' win over Minnesota on Nov. 9, in which he scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including two 3s. Then he missed the Suns' next seven games after concussion symptoms surfaced.

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He's averaging 6.9 points on 42.2% from the field including 40.% from beyond the arc in 16.2 minutes. He's appeared in 12 of the Suns' 21 regular season games, and missed Phoenix's first two from a left hip strain.

Suns coach Monty Williams believes Shamet's Wednesday night shooting was bound to happen. It took a few games after returning to get his stroke back in the flow of their 0.5-second offense to catch and let it fly with confidence and reviving his in-game conditioning.

Shamet was 1-of-2 for just two points and had a block in his Saturday return against the Jazz, and had six points on two-of-five FG and added two rebounds against the Kings on Monday.

“I think it just takes guys time to get their legs. He’s had moments like this with us," Williams said. "We’re hopeful that he can sustain where he is, playing in point-five, shooting the ball when the opportunities are there, playing free, not deferring to anybody. I think that’s when he’s at his best.”

Shamet wanted to find his rhythm not on offense, but on the other end to get his legs back under him since he came back.

“My approach was I wanted to be as solid as I could defensively because that’s where you get in shape, that’s where your legs are gonna come," Shamet said. "That’s been my focus, try to assert myself on that end and lock in there and the rest kind of takes care of itself. But trying to simplify things offensively, just do what I do and try to keep it simple.”

Another motivational factor in finding his shooting touch again versus Chicago was the presence of his mother Melanie Shamet, who's been visiting him since Thanksgiving, he said.

“I got my mom in town, spending time with her, family, it’s that time of year. That’s always good when you get off the court to have that back home," Shamet said.

"She’s been here for that whole stretch of games since I’ve been back. It’s just good to have her around. I don’t see her as often as I used to. You’re grown up, we’re busy now, she’s busy, got her stuff with work and all that so for her to be out here for a week is awesome.”

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Landry Shamet regains his shooting touch in Suns' home win over Bulls