Ayton is making me a believer

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I have been highly critical of Ayton. I thought we actually would have been better off saving the money, keeping McGee and Bizzy, and using the money elsewhere.

But over the last two weeks Ayton is starting to play at the level required of a #1 pick. His rebounding has become reliable. He is much more aggressive offensively, especially at establishing position
and demanding the ball. The last part of his game that still needs to come around is his baseline "Olajuwan" 12-foot shot. I've resigned myself that he is not the power player a la Dwight Howard as in someone who can take the hard foul and still dunk the ball. And he still has too many finesse layups for me. But for the most part he has, in my view, climbed to the next level. He won't ever consistently get the 30 points a game that Embid or such centers get because Booker will necessarily get the most shots. But now I think he is absolutely the #2 offensive player on the team.

That said, I'm almost wary of bringing back Paul. The chemistry is so good with this group---and I like Craig starting a lot---that when Johnson is healthy again, I don't want him starting. We need that extra shooter off the bench. Lee has been a pleasant surprise. And although everyone says he can shoot and score, I'm still waiting on Washington to play to that level.
Ultimately, whatever they do with Crowder must be done carefully with an eye to chemistry. I do not think we have missed him defensively or in rebounding. At present, we are one solid scorer off the bench besides Lee (assuming, again, Paul is not in the rotation). And, overall the Suns do appear to be a tougher more physical team this year.
 

Chris_Sanders

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One thing that really stands out with Ayton right now is he is a willing and top tier screener. That's not glamorous work but it makes the offense work.
 

JCSunsfan

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Has anyone noticed that Book and DA are developing a two man game chemistry that they did not seem to have before?

I think Book is thinking more like a pg and DA is setting better picks. Book is also gaining confidence in him.
 

TJ

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One thing that really stands out with Ayton right now is he is a willing and top tier screener. That's not glamorous work but it makes the offense work.
Ayton has always been willing to do all of the things that don’t show up on the box score. That’s nothing new. It’s the fact that he’s drawing contact, getting to the line, and playing with an attitude that’s most admirable and convincing that this version is here to stay
 

95pro

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Has anyone noticed that Book and DA are developing a two man game chemistry that they did not seem to have before?

I think Book is thinking more like a pg and DA is setting better picks. Book is also gaining confidence in him.

the last two games have been a good example of this.

Ayton is finding better spots to put himself in after setting his screen. Before he'd just cozy up next to his man, taking away any passing lane or lobs. Now he's doing a better job of waiting to roll, keeping spacing, and creating that passing lane.

Earlier this season Book and Payne wouldn't even look for DA, now they just have to execute those passes better. Booker is about a half second late on passes but Ayton still finishes. Payne has been horrible with the lob.
 

TJ

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I will be happy when Ayton has great games against other top tier big men. Anytime he goes up against Jokic, Embiid, Bam, Giannis, Davis and sadly Gobert his numbers usually end up underwhelming.
Haven’t checked them all, but his performances against Davis are fine and his best games are against Jokic. He always sucks playing against Embiid tho
 

JCSunsfan

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Haven’t checked them all, but his performances against Davis are fine and his best games are against Jokic. He always sucks playing against Embiid tho
Embiid just throws his body around. It's dangerous for him and others. Ayton plays a more controlled game. If DA is actually building strength it will help.
 

Proximo

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Has anyone noticed that Book and DA are developing a two man game chemistry that they did not seem to have before?

I think Book is thinking more like a pg and DA is setting better picks. Book is also gaining confidence in him.
I don't really agree they have not had it before, they have had it for at least a year. Is it continuing to get better, sure.

It's to be expected though, when Book is playing point he is naturally going to run 2 man game with him a lot more.
 

Proximo

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I will be happy when Ayton has great games against other top tier big men. Anytime he goes up against Jokic, Embiid, Bam, Giannis, Davis and sadly Gobert his numbers usually end up underwhelming.
I've watched every Suns game he has played, and that is not really true. He has had really good games against Jokic, Giannis and Gobert.

He has just been an inconsistent player his whole career.

He has had stretches like the one he is on now every year of his career, and stretches where he looks like he is going through the motions.

I am not yet convinced he has turned some corner because I have seen this before. I mean it's slightly different - he is dunking more now and he is going after more rebounds, but it's like his aggressiveness is 20% higher. If he could turn it up 50% he would be a perennial all star, and there is no good reason he can't do that, so I am still not satisfied with his play.

But he is on the right trajectory. Every year he has gotten better even if it doesn't necessarily show in the stats. But it's not far off. All he has to learn to do is to seek contact when he is on the block, he starts doing that and I think he will be the player every one has been waiting for. Why has it not happened yet, I don't know. But I think it could start any game now.
 

Chris_Sanders

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Ayton has always been willing to do all of the things that don’t show up on the box score. That’s nothing new. It’s the fact that he’s drawing contact, getting to the line, and playing with an attitude that’s most admirable and convincing that this version is here to stay

I am just saying he is doing it at a level I haven't seen from him before this year. He is punishing the person being screened
 

Mainstreet

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It's important when Chris Paul returns, Ayton remains an integral weapon and part of the offense.

Stats are not going to mean everything because the Suns have tried to create more playmakers this season.

Mikal Bridges is an example. Hopefully Cam Payne will continue his high play. Lee and Shamet are capable scorers.

The Suns do not want teams to fixate their defense on one or two players. This is the lesson to be learned from the previous two playoff appearances.
 

dscher

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I will be happy when Ayton has great games against other top tier big men. Anytime he goes up against Jokic, Embiid, Bam, Giannis, Davis and sadly Gobert his numbers usually end up underwhelming.
This. Also, show up in the playoffs consistently with simply heart and passion, just that, and I'll come around...
 

Muggz

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He's trending in the right direction but I'm gonna need him to body someone or lose a finger on the rim from dunking so hard
before I come back fully.

I'll settle for consistency through the season and playoffs.
 

CardsSunsDbacks

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I've watched every Suns game he has played, and that is not really true. He has had really good games against Jokic, Giannis and Gobert.

He has just been an inconsistent player his whole career.

He has had stretches like the one he is on now every year of his career, and stretches where he looks like he is going through the motions.

I am not yet convinced he has turned some corner because I have seen this before. I mean it's slightly different - he is dunking more now and he is going after more rebounds, but it's like his aggressiveness is 20% higher. If he could turn it up 50% he would be a perennial all star, and there is no good reason he can't do that, so I am still not satisfied with his play.

But he is on the right trajectory. Every year he has gotten better even if it doesn't necessarily show in the stats. But it's not far off. All he has to learn to do is to seek contact when he is on the block, he starts doing that and I think he will be the player every one has been waiting for. Why has it not happened yet, I don't know. But I think it could start any game now.
He's had ups and downs every year so far, but this is easily the most aggressive he has been for a stretch that I can remember. It's not just that he is being active right now, but that he is aggressively going to the rim and seeking out contact.

Seems like his best games before were more because he was just active on the offensive glass and got himself a bunch of easy buckets because of it. This is different, but we shall see if he can keep it up.
 
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DJ Tabooh

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Ayton is a headcase. It’s all between the ears with him. He just doesn’t seem to play smart. The fouls he commits at times are mind boggling. And he’s not a good shot blocker when his athleticism should get him at least 2 a game.

8 points and 6 rebounds. Got outplayed by Sengun who’s a 2nd year player. He needs to see a sports psychologist because his head isn’t on straight. Guy should be 20-10 nightly even if he’s missing shots. And I’ve seen a post that talks about him hitting that lettuce….he needs to chill on that or switch to a sativa cuz he plays in slow motion.
 

Sparky16

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It was great watching guards struggling to get Def Boards and see DA just standing an watching at the top of the key. Dude has zero desire to be great or win... he is just cashing a check
 

StreetTruckinTitan

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I want Ayton to have the drive to perform like a max player season after season not just the occassional two week stretch as he's prone to do.
 

NashDishesDimes

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Ive given up. Im sure hes had 848374 people in his ear trying to start his motor. It doesnt run. Hes a 16 and 9 guy with above average defense. His 16 points are always going go come from point guard setting him up. Period.
 

Chris_Sanders

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He was turning the ball over from the second play of the game.

Yeah it wasn't a stellar performance by far but he also looked rattled by the refs.

I am a guy who has been beating the Ayton drum since day 1 and last night was a tough environment to play in.

In the 3rd we had 7 players with 3 fouls. That's nuts
 

AzStevenCal

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I fully believe the 3 quick fouls got in his head
Clearly. At least he's consistent, he routinely disappears when he picks up early fouls. And I'd like to know why his hands were taped too. He mishandled even more balls last night than he has on his previous worst nights. I hope it was tied to his hands being taped, that's at least fixable.
 
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