The first playoffs in the scent of revenge for Deandre Ayton | NBA

Deandre Ayton’s debut in the NBA was not easy for Phoenix, but his work over the past three years is paying off in his first playoff campaign.

Too limited? Too soft? Not invested enough? In lack of understanding of the game? The n ° 1 of the 2018 Draft heard it all, paying in particular for having left the same vintage as Luka Doncic and Trae Young. Since his arrival in the big league, Deandre Ayton in any case does not feel considered at its fair value. For him, only an NBA title could change things!

« I think people still doubt me », he said after the Suns’ second victory over the Clippers, punctuated by his monumental alley-oop at the last second. “I might turn a few heads among people who know basketball, like managers, and people who really know the game. I know I’m probably taking a step in the right direction. But I don’t think the world really sees it. But if I go to the end, that’s where I can have my reputation, where I can become a star ”.

Work, the best response to his « haters »

So far, despite the doubts and misadventures that marked his first steps in the NBA, such as when he tested positive for a diuretic in 2019/20, Deandre Ayton’s main strength has been to still believe in him.

“The players are criticized every day. But you have to know what kind of player you are. Whether you are viewed negatively or positively, you have to work when no one is looking at you, be consistent every day ”.

Today in the light, like the whole of his franchise, from the players, to the coach, via the « front office », Deandre Ayton does not forget the genesis of this incredible epic, evoking the episode of the  » bubble ”from Orlando, of which Phoenix has emerged undefeated in its last eight regular season games.

« Things started to change in the bubble », he added. “I have seen each of us grow up. We won a few games and started to put the right squad in place. That’s why we’re here, to be honest. Everything we do now has been built in the bubble. Winning has become contagious and we’ve added things like CP 3, Jae Crowder, E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway, and Torrey Craig. These are guys who know and have played at high levels like this. This is the best explanation for me as to how I turned my career into something positive ”.

Tested positive in the revealing of the playoffs

The playoffs made it possible to reveal it in broad daylight. Deandre Ayton, however, displays exactly the same career stats as in this playoff campaign, at 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. The only difference lies in its efficiency, at over 72% over the first 12 postseason games!

The pivot does not force anything, and is simply playing fair at the highest level in the world, especially in the first two games of the conference final, at 22 points (75.7% success) and 11.5 rebounds.

« His growth is continuous in each playoff game », for his part slipped his teammate Devin Booker. “I feel like he hit the button. He turned it on and he doesn’t want to look back. He feels his confidence is there. He knows he is a great force and he is realizing that he is able to move and defend well while making good screens and placing himself in the right place. He also added his “jumper” at mid-distance. It can help in very different ways ”.

Deandre Ayton Percentage Rebounds
Season Team MJ Min Shots 3pts LF Off Def Early Pd Fte Int Bp Ct Pts
2018-19 PHX 71 31 58.5 0.0 74.6 3.1 7.1 10.3 1.8 2.9 0.9 1.8 0.9 16.3
2019-20 PHX 38 33 54.6 23.1 75.3 3.9 7.6 11.5 1.9 3.1 0.7 2.1 1.5 18.2
2020-21 PHX 69 31 62.6 20.0 76.9 3.3 7.2 10.5 1.4 2.8 0.6 1.5 1.2 14.5
Total 178 31 58.8 18.9 75.6 3.4 7.3 10.6 1.7 2.9 0.7 1.7 1.2 16.0

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