Phoenix Suns: 3 Adjustments to Make For Game 6 vs Clippers

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 4
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Adjustment #2 for Game 6: Put Deandre Ayton on Patrick Beverly and align his minutes with DeMarcus Cousins

The Suns started to make this adjustment in the closing moments of Game 5. I think coach Williams realized how they can exploit Beverly’s lack of shooting to their advantage. When the Clippers go to their small lineup, Beverly is the guy Ayton should guard because he is the only player unable to consistently knock down shots.

Putting Ayton on Beverly coincides with double-teaming Jackson and George. Ayton can stray off of Beverly to protect the paint against the roll man, while two Suns defenders can force the ball out of Jackson and George’s hands. Ayton only got one steal in Game 5, but had several deflections whenever he got to roam off Beverly.

Ayton also needs to be in the game when the Clippers put in DeMarcus Cousins, who has consistently dominated Suns forward Dario Saric in their direct matchup.

Ayton normally plays the entire first quarter, then sits. Foul trouble notwithstanding, coach Williams should sub Saric in for Ayton towards the end of the first quarter and bring Ayton back whenever Cousins enters the game at the start of the second quarter.