Deandre Ayton uses the last Finals as a source of motivation | NBA
Deandre Ayton does not rest on his laurels, those who have been drawn up during the entire Suns epic during the 2021 playoffs, while the pivot aligned the big performances. The latter especially remembers the end of the adventure, and the moments when he flinched against the Bucks, during the last games of the NBA Finals which changed everything.
“I saw the flaws, the mistakes and the things I should have done during the playoffs and the Finals, especially the Finals. I didn’t like the way I played in the final ”, he brooded over.
In the same way that he does not let himself be overwhelmed by praise, Deandre Ayton keeps his feet on the ground as the Suns remain on 13 consecutive victories, and he has posted a big performance since his return from injury, at 18.2 points (67.7% shooting) and 12.8 rebounds on average over five games.
“Like I’ve said since the start of the season, I’m trying to be a bigger threat. I try to leave a mark and get used to certain things that I didn’t used to do, but that I can do because it’s also in my style of play ”.
Long-term personal and collective goals
At 23, Deandre Ayton already has a lot of responsibilities within an ambitious team, but also has a margin of progression in attack that he intends to exploit, in particular by learning alongside a Frank Kaminsky in playing the game in racket head. The pivot has thus provided situations for him, but also found his teammates with three assists to the key against Spurs, his record at the start of the season.
« He said he had learned a lot and was continuing to learn from Frank », slipped his coach Monty Williams. “He showed it this evening by feigning a hand-to-hand to run towards the circle. He is much better at playing these situations. Sometimes he scores, other times he finds the guy unmarked. He’s a worker. He is still growing and understanding. He has already had a lot to do for such a young player, but he is more and more comfortable in these particular places of the field (…). It is an additional weapon for us ”.
As for his personal case as that of his team, Deandre Ayton does not focus on the current series of the Suns, and this is perhaps what makes the strength of the group of Monty Williams, who continue to work with a look that goes beyond the regular season, and keeping in mind this missed meeting of the last Finals.
« We are not working for today, but for something much bigger »Deandre Ayton added. “I’m happy that we have an attitude and a mentality that allows us to win games and work on ourselves. But we don’t just win games here and there, we are working on something much bigger than what the league thinks, especially in the long term ”.