The Phoenix Suns have proven themselves as one of the best teams in the NBA this season.
After a decade of being one of the bottom feeders in the league, the Suns are now poised not only to make it in the Playoffs but to potentially make a deep run as well.
The Suns are currently second in the Western Conference and own the second-best record at 35-14.
They’ve won nine of their last 10 games are currently on a six-game winning streak. They are currently seventh in points per game, first in assists, 21st in rebounding, second in field goal shooting and eighth in three-point shooting.
They are in top seven in offensive rating with 115.5 and top five in defensive rating with 108.5.
The success of the Phoenix Suns be accredited to many things.
First, the arrival and veteran leadership of Chris Paul, who’s been averaging 16.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 8.8 APG, 1.5 SPG in 49.2% FG and 37.0% 3FG.
Another huge part is Devin Booker, who’s having a phenomenal season with 25.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.6 APG in 49.8% FG and 36.7% 3FG.
Head Coach Monty Williams should be credited to it as well as he has changed the culture in Phoenix, from being one of the worst teams in the league to a title contender.
However, a big part of their success that can’t be overlooked is third-year big-man Deandre Ayton.
The first pick of the 2018 NBA Draft had a rough first two seasons in the league as he failed to live up to the expectation that he would instantly make a big impact and turn the culture around in Phoenix.
|2018-19||16.3 PPG||10.2 RPG||1.8 APG||1.1 BPG||61.1%|
|2019-20||18.2 PPG||11.5 RPG||1.9 APG||1.5 BPG||54.6%|
|2020-21||14.8 PPG||10.8 RPG||1.5 APG||0.9 BPG||58.5%|
However, this season, he has picked up his game and is now making valuable contributions to the team.
Ayton has made a big impact in the boards, offense and defense of the Phoenix Suns this season. He has also meshed well with Paul and Booker’s playstyle, forming a balanced Big 3 for Arizona.
In their last 10 games, Ayton has been putting up 16.4 PPG and 9.8 RPG on 62.3% FG.
In a 111-94 win over the Suns over the LA Lakers, Ayton showcased dominance with 26 points and eight rebounds.
And in their most recent win against the Houston Rockets, 133-130, he outplayed Christian Wood by putting up 27 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks on 71.4% FG.
Ayton still hasn’t unlocked his full potential, but his effect on the team is undeniable. Should he continue to grow his game alongside Devin Booker, we could see the Suns contend for a very long time.
For long-suffering Suns fans, this is a great thing to see.
What do you think about Deandre Ayton? Do you think he’ll be a big piece in the deep run of the Suns in the Playoffs? Sound off in the comment section!