After a tough loss against the Toronto Raptors last night by a final score of 113-104, there were two things that fans pointed the finger at during another close loss late. It was the 27 turnovers that were committed during the game and it was Deandre Ayton’s 4-point performance. Ayton scored 4 points on 2-10 shooting with 2 turnovers and 7 rebounds. To Ayton’s defense, he was getting double-teamed all night long and the Raptors did a great job of taking him out of the game. Ayton alluded to what the Raptors were doing after the game according to Duane Rankin.
“Just different coverages. I think I saw two or three on me the whole night. Whether it was a rebound or a screen, they were everywhere… I wasn’t in rhythm like I have been all season.”
"I don't know. Just different coverages. I think I saw two or three people on me the whole night."
Deandre Ayton after tying a season-low with 4 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes of #Suns road loss Friday vs. #Raptors.
"I was reading the game to see what I could do." pic.twitter.com/iDMxCz2opm
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) December 31, 2022
The tough thing about this for the Suns is that they won’t have Devin Booker or Cam Johnson for some time. Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet are also out so teams are going to continue to look at what the Raptors did last night and double-team Ayton to take him out of the game. This kind of attention will take him back to his times in Arizona when he was getting a double-teamed night in and night out. To his credit, one of the things that Ayton did well in those circumstances made the right passes when those opportunities came.
Always enjoy watching Deandre Ayton (@APlayersProgram) in the post because he can attack in so many ways. Here, as he displays well, he’s a willing playmaker. Quickly recognizes double team and finds open man on perimeter. pic.twitter.com/oQ9Vj8UxrC
— Luka (@preptopros) June 14, 2018
I came across this monster jam while watching some Deandre Ayton highlights. Check the nice pass out of the double team from Ayton. (14mb) pic.twitter.com/KJH0WhKLf2
— Glenn McComb (@lenymo) March 15, 2018
Just like in college, the Suns are going to need more of these plays to open up the offense more with Booker out. The Suns are a top 5 three-point shooting team so these double teams should help make the Suns’ offense a lot more efficient for guys like Mikal Bridges and Damion Lee for spot-up shots. Another thing that head coach Monty Williams alluded to was a lot more force in the paint which he felt Ayton didn’t provide in last night’s matchup.
“He just didn’t finish around the basket. Didn’t play with the requisite force that it takes to play against a team like that. You have a presence down low, it helps you get more 3s. Rarely does he shoot 2-for-10”
WATCH: Suns Insider Franklin Miller Recaps The Suns Loss To The Raptors
With the Suns now traveling to New York to take on the Knicks, they will need a little more aggression from their big man from a scoring and passing standpoint. Until then, it’s going to be a little tough for the Suns to squeeze out wins with their injury issues.
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