Phoenix Suns: Just give Deandre Ayton the ball

Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns struggled to score the ball in Saturday night’s blowout loss to the Grizzlies. They should be feeding the ball to Deandre Ayton.

The Phoenix Suns got blown out by the Grizzlies on Saturday night. Without Devin Booker, the Suns managed just 96 points, clearly missing their young star’s scoring. And very unsurprisingly, without Booker, Deandre Ayton led the team in scoring with 24 points, double the team’s next highest scorer.

24 points makes it sound like the Suns did a good job of getting Ayton the ball, but that’s really not the case. Ayton was extremely efficient, converting 12-13 from the field. No free throws. Five assists. That’s not enough usage for the team’s best player in 32 minutes. Not even close to enough.

It’s true Ayton needs to do a better job in some ways. He needs to post up and demand the ball, and he needs to work harder to get to the foul line. But most of the blame has to go on his teammates for not recognizing how hot Ayton was and making a concerted effort to get him the ball. And some of it has to go on the coach for not making sure that happened.

Ayton is already looking like a great player. He has a sweet jumper and the athleticism to battle with anyone in the post. He’s also a better passer than anyone anticipated. Offensively, he has it all. So there’s no reason a majority of the offense shouldn’t be going right through him, especially on nights when Devin Booker can’t suit up.

There was a play that stood out in the first half of the game. Deandre Ayton was 5-5 and had scored on the last couple Suns possessions. He had position in the high post, and it would have only made sense to get him the ball again. But instead, Ryan Anderson forced a contested fadeaway midrange jumper. As could be expected by the description of the shot, he missed.

It’s time for the Phoenix Suns to embrace the tank. dark. Next

There’s no excuse for the Phoenix Suns to not be getting Deandre Ayton the ball more. Centers need someone else to feed them, and Ayton is worth feeding. It’s not smart for career role players to play a your turn my turn offense with a great post presence on the floor. Hopefully that’s an adjustment the team makes going forward.