The NBA is a league that is built around its stars, and the plus/minus statistic is often used as a tool to identify which stars make the most significant impact.
For example, Russell Westbrook was regularly criticized for his perceived selfish play during his lengthy tenure with the Oklahoma City Thunder, although following Kevin Durant's departure in 2016, the plus/minus stat highlighted that the Thunder were significantly better with their star point guard on the court.
Plus/minus scores change quickly during the first few weeks of the season, however, with Week 5 quickly approaching, the sample size is big enough to establish trends. On that note, here we will take a look at five NBA players with surprisingly good +/- ratings so far this season.
#5 Devin Booker - Phoenix Suns: +92
Despite missing the suspended Deandre Ayton since opening night, the Phoenix Suns have surpassed expectations to begin the 2019-20 season with a 7-4 record. They have already picked up notable wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Brooklyn Nets, with Devin Booker once again the driving force.
The 23-year-old is averaging 25.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists on 54% shooting from the field and 50% from beyond the arc, and Booker finally looks primed to make his first All-Star appearance.
While it is no surprise that the Booker possesses a positive +/- rating, the extent of how much better the Suns are with him on the court is an eye-opener. Phoenix have outscored opponents by 92 points while Booker has been playing, an amount that only Jayson Tatum and LeBron James have bettered so far this season.
It is worth remembering that this is a largely unchanged roster from a team that finished last season with a 19-63 record, and Booker's incredible plus/minus rating suggests that his heroics are going somewhat unnoticed.