While early in the season Deandre Ayton was putting up double-double with regularity, he still didn’t seem like he had that “it” factor that Luka Doncic had right out of the gate.
But since the month of December began, Ayton has begun to not only raise the bar in the terms of the statistics he is putting up, but has shown overall improvement in both offensive
aggressiveness, taking on smaller players who had earlier in the year been keeping him out of inside the post, and defensive energy.
We are now seeing the growth of the dominating center that we all wanted to see right out of the gate.
Through the end of 2018, Ayton is 2nd among rookies in scoring with 17.0, 1st in rebounds per game with 10.9, 8th in assists per game with 2.2, 1st in FG% with 60.5%, 9th in FT% with 76.5% (although 1st among centers), 7th in blocks per game (0.92), and 2nd in minutes per game (31.3).
Ayton’s December was also something special to behold, averaging 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game (both monthly highs for him thus far), but also recording more steals (1.0 per game) and blocks (1.1), more than either month prior.
Ayton is proving game-by-game why he was worthy of the first overall pick, and that he is and will be the real deal moving forward in his career.