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Deandre Ayton year 4, the next step

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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1101 » by Slim Charless » Fri Jul 9, 2021 12:20 am

saintEscaton wrote:
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saintEscaton wrote:I'm not a casual, nice try. I rank Bam higher than DA, this playoff performance doesn't drastically change things for me, he has to replicate this and carry out this level of success throughout a regular season too


Completely disagree. They're even defensively and Bam is slightly better offensively while being MUCH better with the ball in his hands (making plays). Now, DA might get there soon but he's not there just yet.

I have Ayton 4th behind Joker, Biid and Bam.

In the regular season I would still easily take three time DPOY/best rim protector in the league Gobert( even though he's a ragdoll who gets abused by elite offensive centers and exposed in the playoffs) and the most supremely offensively talented big in the league in KAT despite his defensive woes. But Ayton if he develops into a reliable second option as a scorer and expands his range as a shooter can overtake them both if he can also manage to make an All-NBA defensive team


KAT is obviously better on offense, but is terrible defensively. I think that DA is gonna start taking Gobert's place in these all defense teams and his all star spot starting as soon as next year.

I'd rather have Ayton over both, especially since I bet Monty and Chris make more Ayton specific plays. I wouldn't be surprised if he averages 20/13/2 starting next year, along with stellar defense. Hopefully him and Booker can join CP3 on 1 of the all NBA teams.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1102 » by bwgood77 » Fri Jul 9, 2021 10:24 pm

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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1103 » by thamadkant » Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:23 am

Slim Charless wrote:
saintEscaton wrote:
Slim Charless wrote:
Completely disagree. They're even defensively and Bam is slightly better offensively while being MUCH better with the ball in his hands (making plays). Now, DA might get there soon but he's not there just yet.

I have Ayton 4th behind Joker, Biid and Bam.

In the regular season I would still easily take three time DPOY/best rim protector in the league Gobert( even though he's a ragdoll who gets abused by elite offensive centers and exposed in the playoffs) and the most supremely offensively talented big in the league in KAT despite his defensive woes. But Ayton if he develops into a reliable second option as a scorer and expands his range as a shooter can overtake them both if he can also manage to make an All-NBA defensive team


KAT is obviously better on offense, but is terrible defensively. I think that DA is gonna start taking Gobert's place in these all defense teams and his all star spot starting as soon as next year.

I'd rather have Ayton over both, especially since I bet Monty and Chris make more Ayton specific plays. I wouldn't be surprised if he averages 20/13/2 starting next year, along with stellar defense. Hopefully him and Booker can join CP3 on 1 of the all NBA teams.


Ayton averaging 20+ will highly dependent on him hitting mid range from set-ups. He will not get isolation plays like Embiid and Jokic.. that is a BALL stopper and KILLS the strength of the Suns, which is player and ball movement. So Ayton being set up more for mid range ala Aldridge would push his points per game to 20. Ayton playing like Embiid would be VERY BAD for the Suns system.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1104 » by bwgood77 » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:11 pm

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DURING DEANDRE AYTON'S one-on-zero pre-draft workout with the Phoenix Suns, Igor Kokoskov, then the Suns' coach, concocted a surprise to test Ayton's reaction time.

Standing 10 or 15 feet from Ayton, and without warning, Kokoskov dropped a ball, and on its bounce back up, kicked it -- soccer-style -- as hard as he could at Ayton. Ayton reached out one of his giant hands and snagged it in midair.

"I just caught the ball and was like, 'What was that about?'" Ayton said, laughing.

Most witnesses remember Kokoskov firing a few more kicks at Ayton -- with the then-teenage big man either catching or saving all of them.

"He looked like Kasper Schmeichel," said Ryan McDonough, then the Suns' GM, referencing the star Danish goalkeeper.

The Suns put Ayton through more drills to test physical skills and endurance: snaring rebounds from above the square on the backboard, and shuttling back-and-forth between each block -- plucking a ball from the ground and dunking it each time.

The Suns' brain trust was aware before then that Ayton had tremendous ability: a rare combination of size, powerful explosion, and the right kind of softness -- magnet hands, a silky touch around the basket, and feet so nimble they seem to press into and then spring from the floor as if it were pliable grass and not hardwood.

Intel coming from the University of Arizona portrayed a positive spirit and willing worker eager to address weaknesses -- including uneven pick-and-roll defense.

For the Suns, Ayton was something of a lump of clay on both ends -- a prospect both exciting and fraught. Should the Suns make him a pick-and-pop center bombing 3s, or a screen-and-dive fiend? Should he facilitate from the elbows like Nikola Jokic? What if he stretched in every direction at once -- becoming decent at everything but great at nothing, failing to develop a foundational identity?

Ayton has received a ton of deserved credit during this magical playoff run for subsuming any ambitions of all-around offensive stardom and embracing a less glamorous role that works for this roster. He is posting up less, shooting fewer long 2s, screening-and-diving more -- with more force. It is the right fit for a team with two elite pick-and-roll ball handlers -- Devin Booker and Chris Paul -- and four shooters around Ayton.

But the Suns would be nowhere close to the Finals without Ayton undergoing the same transformation on defense -- toggling between schemes, failing and learning, and finding a comfort zone that worked for everyone.

Phoenix has good defensive talent across the roster, and the ability to switch across three or four positions against some lineups. But if the keystone cracks, it all falls apart.

The Suns ranked sixth in points allowed per possession in the regular season. They are No. 3 in the playoffs. They are two wins from the title because of their defense as much as anything, and that is where it is because Ayton has improved more from his rookie season through his third year than almost any big man in recent memory.


ARIZONA PLAYED AN aggressive defense, leveraging Ayton's speed by having him hedge and blitz pick-and-rolls. The Suns thought it might help Ayton to use a similar scheme, with Ayton meeting opposing ball handlers at the level of the pick -- often at the 3-point arc.

But the NBA is different from college: more space, better shooting, nastier ball handlers. The 2018-19 Suns were bereft of experienced point guards to guide Ayton through scouting reports and talk through defensive possessions.

Ayton would sometimes be late to the point of attack, still rushing toward midcourt when the ball handler began driving forward -- easy prey for a blow-by. Anxious about repeating that mistake, Ayton might overcommit to the ball handler the next time -- leaving his man open for a rim run.

With that new worry fresh in his mind, Ayton sometimes recovered to his man too early -- conceding drives.

"I got way too worried about that big man rolling behind me," Ayton said.


"Every rookie has a learning curve," said Corliss Williamson, an assistant coach on that Phoenix team who worked closely with Ayton. "The offensive part usually comes easier than the defense."

Kokoskov eventually dialed the defense back, with Ayton hanging closer to the paint -- more typical for someone his size. Jarring errors of timing and spatial perception persisted.

"Dropping back was an adjustment for him," said Lorenzo Romar, the associate head coach on that Arizona staff and now the head coach at Pepperdine.

Ayton also seemed star-struck at times, Williamson said. "The first time we played against Steven Adams, I felt Deandre was in awe," Williamson recalled. "He had always been the biggest guy on the court. Now here comes this big grown man you have to guard."

The Suns remained optimistic. Ayton's mistakes were errors of commission -- the results of effort, however misapplied. "He wanted to guard, but it just didn't translate at that time," said Jamal Crawford, who played 64 games for the Suns during Ayton's rookie season. "His intentions were pure. His defense today is night and day from what it was then."

(Ayton was star-struck around Crawford, too. He didn't speak to Crawford for almost a week after Crawford signed. "Maybe he's a little into himself," Crawford thought. Finally Ayton approached and said he had been nervous, and that he often played as Crawford in the NBA 2K video games, both recalled. "From that moment, we were good," Crawford said.)

All Ayton needed, his supporters hoped and believed, was experience.

"He is so long and athletic, he will eventually be able to play ball screens any way you want," Romar said. "It was just a matter of him buying in, figuring it out, and not being afraid to fail."


Coaches took Ayton through footwork drills and coverages. By the second half of his rookie season, Ayton seemed to be learning more from film study -- including of Rudy Gobert, Clint Capela, and Adams.

"Sometimes rookies don't want to sit and watch film," Williamson said. "But as the season went on, he became more a student of the game."

In early March of that season, Ayton spent large portions of consecutive Phoenix wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks guarding LeBron James and then Giannis Antetokounmpo. He did not look out of his depth. Crawford's eyes widened.

"He had those guys just kind of thinking a little bit more than usual," Crawford said. "And I was like, 'Whoa, just by being big and mobile and active, he can do that.'"

The Suns fired Kokoskov after Ayton's rookie season, and replaced him with Monty Williams. Williams and assistant coach Mark Bryant had overlapped with the Oklahoma City Thunder; Williams hired Bryant away in part to work with Ayton.

"When I first met him, I was like, 'Man, this kid is a legit 7 [feet],'" Bryant said. "Because so many times people are like, 'This guy is 7,' and I get around him, and he's really 6-10. Deandre is a legit 7. And when I saw him moving around, I said to myself, 'Oh my god, this kid is gonna be alright if he keeps working it.'" (Ayton is officially listed at 6-foot-11.)

Bryant continued drills and film study. He tried to break pick-and-roll defense into smaller chunks -- plays within the play. He made a mantra of two simple rules -- axioms Ayton has probably heard hundreds and maybe thousands of times now:

* "Don't let the big get behind your head."

* "The ball scores."

It was Bryant's way of getting Ayton to visualize how it should look and feel as he drops back against the pick-and-roll defending two people at once -- ball handler and roller. If that rolling big -- Ayton's man -- gets beyond Ayton's head, the Suns are at risk of allowing a lob dunk. But overreact to that threat, and you abandon the most dangerous player on the floor -- the guy with the ball.

Ayton had to find that in-between space, and learn how to hold it. If he could do that, his teammates on the perimeter could stick on outside shooters instead of darting inside to help him. He watched even more film of Gobert. "He plays big," Ayton said. "I try to steal those tendencies. I try to be giant."

Some emergencies require bolting out of that in-between space. If an ace ball handler turns the corner with daylight, Ayton might have to leave his own man and swarm the ball. That was precisely what he appeared hesitant to do at times as a rookie, when he retreated to his man too early -- opening runways to the rim. He had to trust teammates would have his back.

"It can be hard to learn, 'If my man scores, it's not necessarily my fault,'" Williamson said. "Sometimes it's a rotation that needs to be there."

Bryant saw an acceleration in Ayton's development in the Orlando, Florida, bubble, where the Suns went 8-0 and nearly made a miraculous run into the playoffs. Bryant's rules seemed to be taking hold. Ayton was playing with clarity.

"You can't leave gray areas," Bryant said. "That just messes young big guys up."

Ayton knew he had another level. He just didn't know that an implacable, aging point guard then playing for the Thunder would help him reach it.

"CP got on my ass," Ayton said of Paul, "and pretty much covered every gray area."

Paul's in-game chatter is constant. He provided personal scouting reports about every opposing pick-and-roll combination. "He gave me the cheat sheets," Ayton said. "Just knowing dudes' tendencies is super important -- guards and bigs."

Two years after looking hopelessly confused, Ayton breached one of the final stages of big man pick-and-roll defense: not merely finding that in-between space, but manipulating the two offensive players within it -- tricking them into bad decisions.


Ayton jabs at Jrue Holiday to slow him down. He then angles his body to cut Holiday off, almost doubling him. Maybe Ayton thinks Booker, guarding Holiday, needs time to recover. Maybe Ayton senses the cramped spacing -- Brook Lopez lingering near the dunker spot, help defenders scrunching driving and passing lanes in every direction -- gives him the leeway to flash at Holiday. Or maybe he's playing cat-and-mouse, baiting Holiday into lobbing to Antetokounmpo.


When Holiday fakes Cameron Johnson into the rearview, Ayton downloads it as a semi-emergency and slides an extra half-step toward Holiday. But Ayton doesn't switch, or telegraph anything. He backpedals between Holiday and Lopez, head on a swivel and arms spread wide, bobbing from side-to-side to keep Holiday guessing. Ayton is waiting to counterpunch. Holiday makes the first move, and Ayton disrupts Holiday's layup.


Sometimes being big, bouncy, and patient is enough. Ayton does nothing fancy here other than retreat, wait for Khris Middleton to do something, and then very rudely -- almost with disdain -- whack the ball back as if he were a volleyball blocker. Ayton has a good sense for when his guards have slithered around a screen without losing much ground -- allowing him to stay closer to the screen-setter.

He has made huge strides as a help defender at the rim. He is careful to avoid leaving his feet -- and possibly conceding a drop-off pass or an easy offensive rebound -- unless he absolutely has to. He jets across the lane in a blink, and his sheer size makes him a fearsome deterrent:


That second jump is fast. Ayton can challenge a shot, land, and then rise again for a rebound. He has become very good at tipping the ball to himself or a teammate if he can't snare it with both hands.

He's also just playing super hard -- sprinting end to end, and flying in for contested rebounds way out of his area.


Ayton slices in from the corner to hunt that rebound. He spent a lot of time in the corners against the LA Clippers' super-small lineups in the conference finals. That is a tough job for even the best paint-bound bigs. (Ask Gobert.)

Ayton held his own, shifting assignments and positions without conceding too much inside or outside. "That was the 'ah-ha!' series," Bryant said. "The fact that we could keep him on the floor against those small lineups was big."

THE PLAYOFFS -- THE stakes and the spotlight -- are magic like that, igniting a feedback loop that can encourage players to reinvent themselves or at least tweak their games in meaningful ways. Doing the dirty work at full throttle always aids winning. It just doesn't get as much attention during the dog days of the regular season, when the outcome of each individual game almost seems immaterial.

In the playoffs, every game is important. The level of attention is exponentially larger. If you win, everyone notices the gritty contributions that might get overlooked in January. Credit pours in, reinforcing the importance of those contributions. Winning is fun. Some players begin to realize they can get their usual numbers,embrace the less starry parts of the game, win, and have fun all at once.

"When you have a great team in place that's really trying to go for it, you don't want to be the weak link or the odd man out," Crawford said. "You pay more attention to everything."

Ayton needed no such postseason reinvention; he had been doing all of that the whole season. "Even as a rookie, he didn't care about stats," Crawford said. And it won't hurt long term that Ayton, still just 22, has already gotten a taste of how winning feels -- and how it can change the perception of a young player.

He still has room to grow as a rim protector. He can be a beat late rotating here and there, and might be able to challenge more shots.

One of Ayton's next goals is to convince Williams he can switch more onto guards and wings -- if it makes sense in a particular matchup. Ayton is learning that every edge matters at the highest levels.

"It's hard to win in this league, man," Ayton said. "Playing against guys like Greek Freak, Jokic, Jo-Jo [Joel Embiid]. You have to bring it every single day."
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1105 » by Saberestar » Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:06 pm

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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1106 » by sunsbg » Sun Jul 18, 2021 1:09 pm

15/16 FTs in the finals. The guy has a shooting touch. The coaching staff better start looking how to integrate DA more in the offense next season. The team needs internal player development to stay a contender.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1107 » by garrick » Sun Jul 18, 2021 2:04 pm

sunsbg wrote:15/16 FTs in the finals. The guy has a shooting touch. The coaching staff better start looking how to integrate DA more in the offense next season. The team needs internal player development to stay a contender.


Agreed, if the Suns want remain contenders we are absolutely going to have to make Deandre a bigger part of the offense & expand his game a bit.

I would like to see him utilize his mid range a bit more as well as work on his dribble which is non existent it's almost as if he's been told not to drive into the paint.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1108 » by JDJ26 » Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:42 pm

garrick wrote:
sunsbg wrote:15/16 FTs in the finals. The guy has a shooting touch. The coaching staff better start looking how to integrate DA more in the offense next season. The team needs internal player development to stay a contender.


Agreed, if the Suns want remain contenders we are absolutely going to have to make Deandre a bigger part of the offense & expand his game a bit.

I would like to see him utilize his mid range a bit more as well as work on his dribble which is non existent it's almost as if he's been told not to drive into the paint.


I think Monty wants Ayton to play basically like Capela or Gobert.

When he has to deviate from coaches orders and improvise. He doesn't know what to do next.

I think his handle is already decent, He has displayed he can handle the ball in the playoffs.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1109 » by sunsbg » Sun Jul 18, 2021 7:26 pm

JDJ26 wrote:
garrick wrote:
sunsbg wrote:15/16 FTs in the finals. The guy has a shooting touch. The coaching staff better start looking how to integrate DA more in the offense next season. The team needs internal player development to stay a contender.


Agreed, if the Suns want remain contenders we are absolutely going to have to make Deandre a bigger part of the offense & expand his game a bit.

I would like to see him utilize his mid range a bit more as well as work on his dribble which is non existent it's almost as if he's been told not to drive into the paint.


I think Monty wants Ayton to play basically like Capela or Gobert.

When he has to deviate from coaches orders and improvise. He doesn't know what to do next.

I think his handle is already decent, He has displayed he can handle the ball in the playoffs.


Not sure why Monty would want DA to play like Gobert, who was exposed both on defense and offense. Do you like paying a max to someone who depends so much on CP3 on offense ? What happens when Paul is not on the team anymore ? We have seen in this series the correlation between CP3 and DA's level of play on offense. Embiid is money from midrange, shoots 3s. No reason to not develop DA in a similar way with the shooting touch he's displayed.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1110 » by lilfishi22 » Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:37 am

There were a ton of easy potential FGA's when Ayton gets switched onto smaller guys, even if it's Jrue he should be getting the ball. I think the Bucks defended the passer well to limit their ability to get a clean pass to Ayton but we need to do better at making those quick (0.5) passes to him when he has a mismatch.

Unfortunately we don't have the benefit of a long off-season (we normally have 6mths) so Ayton will be limited to what he can work on but I think next season will be the 1st season where he'll be featured more prominently on offense. It's the only way for us to evolve from a full guard driven offense to one that also involves offense creation from a big.
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Lebron - Zion, Barrett like Melo, wade like Culver, garland like tj ford, hunter like bosh, white like Barbosa, Clarke like David West. I think this draft is actually going to be deeper though
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1111 » by JDJ26 » Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:32 am

sunsbg wrote:
JDJ26 wrote:
garrick wrote:
Agreed, if the Suns want remain contenders we are absolutely going to have to make Deandre a bigger part of the offense & expand his game a bit.

I would like to see him utilize his mid range a bit more as well as work on his dribble which is non existent it's almost as if he's been told not to drive into the paint.


I think Monty wants Ayton to play basically like Capela or Gobert.

When he has to deviate from coaches orders and improvise. He doesn't know what to do next.

I think his handle is already decent, He has displayed he can handle the ball in the playoffs.


Not sure why Monty would want DA to play like Gobert, who was exposed both on defense and offense. Do you like paying a max to someone who depends so much on CP3 on offense ? What happens when Paul is not on the team anymore ? We have seen in this series the correlation between CP3 and DA's level of play on offense. Embiid is money from midrange, shoots 3s. No reason to not develop DA in a similar way with the shooting touch he's displayed.


It seems Monty wants to keep it simple for Ayton. Which I sort of understand because the ball should be in CP3 or Booker's hands 90% of the time.

Hopefully Ayton works on his post moves and/or a faceup game in the summer.

If Ayton somehow develops a faceup game and is able to get to the FT line on a consistent basis next season, the Suns should be able to make it back to the Finals.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1112 » by Revived » Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:15 pm

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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1113 » by lilfishi22 » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:02 pm

Ayton really grew up in this post-season. Even going into the playoffs I had some doubts about whether he would rise to the occasion and he's absolutely blown it out the park in these playoffs. The guy is turning 23 and he's already up there as one of the best defensive big men in the league.

The next step is to get his offense to a place where he's a legit threat and not just off of lobs and rolls but with the ball in his hand.
alamin330 wrote:This draft reminds me of the 2003 draft.
Lebron - Zion, Barrett like Melo, wade like Culver, garland like tj ford, hunter like bosh, white like Barbosa, Clarke like David West. I think this draft is actually going to be deeper though
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1114 » by WeekapaugGroove » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:07 pm

JDJ26 wrote:
garrick wrote:
sunsbg wrote:15/16 FTs in the finals. The guy has a shooting touch. The coaching staff better start looking how to integrate DA more in the offense next season. The team needs internal player development to stay a contender.


Agreed, if the Suns want remain contenders we are absolutely going to have to make Deandre a bigger part of the offense & expand his game a bit.

I would like to see him utilize his mid range a bit more as well as work on his dribble which is non existent it's almost as if he's been told not to drive into the paint.


I think Monty wants Ayton to play basically like Capela or Gobert.

When he has to deviate from coaches orders and improvise. He doesn't know what to do next.

I think his handle is already decent, He has displayed he can handle the ball in the playoffs.
He busted out the handle a little little bit this postseason but really thats the first time he's ever shown it at any level.

It's a trait he should absolutely develop. If he can pump fake and put it on the floor for even just a dribble or two it opens up so many things in his game.

Obviously people will talk about his development on D which has been awesome but I'd also note he's REALLY improved as a roll man. He's worlds better that he used to be at setting screens and then rolling hard to the rim as a finisher. Seems like simple stuff but he wasn't very good at it earlier in his career.

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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1115 » by Slim Charless » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:08 pm

lilfishi22 wrote:Ayton really grew up in this post-season. Even going into the playoffs I had some doubts about whether he would rise to the occasion and he's absolutely blown it out the park in these playoffs. The guy is turning 23 and he's already up there as one of the best defensive big men in the league.

The next step is to get his offense to a place where he's a legit threat and not just off of lobs and rolls but with the ball in his hand.


Monty and CP3 (once he resigns) need to cook up more Ayton centric plays in the off-season. We need him to be a legit threat on the inside to free up more space for our backcourt. MIL was just a big team so not everyone could do what they did to us, but still we need to make some changes to the offense.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1116 » by suns12345 » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:56 pm

DA was great this post season.

For some reason he regressed in our last four games, and went back to his old ways a bit (dropping passes, missing bunnies), but I guess the whole team did that to some extent and its hard to carry a team as such a young guy.

My hope for DA is he is no longer the one who gets dunked on by Brook Lopez in the finals, but he is doing the dunking on like we saw in the first three rounds.

I think the moment was too big for some of our young guys. they will come back better.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1117 » by lilfishi22 » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:56 pm

Slim Charless wrote:
lilfishi22 wrote:Ayton really grew up in this post-season. Even going into the playoffs I had some doubts about whether he would rise to the occasion and he's absolutely blown it out the park in these playoffs. The guy is turning 23 and he's already up there as one of the best defensive big men in the league.

The next step is to get his offense to a place where he's a legit threat and not just off of lobs and rolls but with the ball in his hand.


Monty and CP3 (once he resigns) need to cook up more Ayton centric plays in the off-season. We need him to be a legit threat on the inside to free up more space for our backcourt. MIL was just a big team so not everyone could do what they did to us, but still we need to make some changes to the offense.

Totally agree

I think a big focus this season was to look at what each player does well and amplify that to a whole different level. Ayton's defense has reached a new level, I think Bridge's ability to attack the close out has taken another step as has CamJo's and of course Booker's midrange offense and keeping guys on his hip like CP3 is taken another step too.

There's only so much that could be worked on last offseason with Covid, the shortened camp and bringing in a massive piece in CP3 so integrating him leaves little time for skills development. Now we have a season under our belt, a Finals run and analysing the strengths and weaknesses to focus on is something we'll certainly do this offseason. For Ayton if he's able to focus on offense, he's going to be a problem for teams next season.
alamin330 wrote:This draft reminds me of the 2003 draft.
Lebron - Zion, Barrett like Melo, wade like Culver, garland like tj ford, hunter like bosh, white like Barbosa, Clarke like David West. I think this draft is actually going to be deeper though
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1118 » by bigfoot » Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:11 am

Ayton needs to go to ball-handling school so he can get downhill against big guys like Lopez. Otherwise, he will rely on lobs from his teammates to get buckets and we really need him to be an offensive threat. Somehow in two months, he needs to develop some skills so that he can begin to use them at the start of the season and refined them as it goes along.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1119 » by GoodBehavior » Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:55 pm

From the Suns' perspective, Ayton getting much better on offense might not be that great of an idea. This could be Dwight Howard 2.0. Dwight Howard, had he stick to being a pick and roll big with elite rim protection, would have been a way better player than the back-to-the-basket scorer and headcase that he became.

I am actually fine with Ayton's skill set, as is. 18 & 12, elite defense at the rim and above average in the perimeter. He was the team's MVP during the playoff and the Suns rode on his back to the finals. He did run out of gas in the last game or so, but when you're expanding energy chasing GIannis, your offense output is going to drop.

A three ball would be nice. But him handling the ball ... man, I don't think that's such a great idea.
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Re: Deandre Ayton year 3, the next step 

Post#1120 » by darealjuice » Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:11 pm

No one wants Ayton to abandon what he's doing well to try playing point guard or pretending to be Giannis. The point is that he needs to expand his offensive game beyond spoon feeding and offensive rebounds. I would KILL for him to add Amar'e Stoudemire's classic face up, jab step, one dribble, spin back, and yam. Just being comfortable with a jab step and straight line drive from inside the freethrow line like Amar'e and Duncan had would open his game so much. Dwight wasn't at their level, but he had more shot creation ability in Orlando than Ayton does now.

The 3-point shot has been on everyone's wishlist for awhile, but I don't like the idea of having someone whose most valuable skill on offense is offensive rebounding to look for more shots on the perimeter, especially when he's not comfortable attacking a closeout.

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