Deandre Ayton had a career night against LeBron James and the Lakers, and it was no fluke. The 20-year-old center was averaging 15 points and 9.7 rebounds per game when he got the start, but he ended up with 25 and 16 on 13-of-23 shooting.

When the Suns took on LeBron James and the Lakers in Los Angeles on Thursday night, a lot of eyes were on Deandre Ayton. This was because he was the first player in 33 years to score at least 30 points, grab at least 10 rebounds, and dish out at least five assists against the King.

First, let’s take a look at one of the biggest games of the season, between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. Many analysts have been calling this the biggest game of the season, and I believe they’re correct.. Read more about where is lebron james from and let us know what you think.

For much of the Phoenix Suns’ stellar season, it was Chris Paul and Devin Booker who were praised by fans and analysts alike. But in the first two games of the playoffs, Deandre Ayton finally got some love. Honestly, his play should have been noticed much earlier. His averages may have gone down in his third year in the NBA, but that doesn’t mean he’s gotten worse.

Against the Los Angeles Lakers, Ayton showed that he can hold his own against a team with two of the league’s best stars. People should treat Ayton’s name with some respect now. Yes, Luka Doncic could be the best player in the 2018 NBA Draft. But Ayton is getting closer to him.

Sunshine Lakers X-Factor: Deandre Ayton

Here are three (3) reasons why Deandre Ayton will prove himself in the Phoenix Suns’ game against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Offensive strikes

Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis admitted that Deandre Ayton’s offensive rebound ruined them in Game 1. Ayton grabbed a total of 16 rebounds, eight of which were offensive. That led to 12 second chance points for the Suns. It’s safe to assume that there’s no way Ayton can beat a strong Lakers team. But that’s the reality the Lakers faced in Game 1. At one point, Ayton grabbed a whopping 15 rebounds, while Davis only grabbed four.

Kudos to the Lakers for limiting Eaton to two offensive rebounds in Game 2. Ayton still scored 22 points, making 11 of 13 shots. This proves that Ayton doesn’t just get the ball. The Suns have integrated him well in the offense, especially in pick-and-roll situations – the second reason Ayton is proving his value to the team.

Pick-and-Roll

Coach Monty Williams seems to have realized that the Lakers are switching to pick-and-rolls. This makes sense, as many NBA teams prefer to play with a small ball. Moreover, the Lakers have a very disciplined group of players who are also very active defensively. But in the end, the advantage always goes to the biggest player. See how Kentavius Caldwell-Pope moved to Eaton. He tried to intercept the big man, but Ayton pushed him out of the way.

I want to thank @NekiasNBA for mentioning the potential impact of trading Deandre Ayton to a team. The Lakers make a late change because CP3 is out again. Ayton throws, KCP tries to finish it, but Ayton tosses it aside and finishes it pic.twitter.com/zZTintcjAl

– Steve Jones Jr (@stevejones20) May 23, 2021

As mentioned earlier, the Suns know Ayton’s strengths. His size and play skills give them many advantages. Devin Booker should be commended for seeing the hole and making a nice pass. But Ayton should also be credited with an accurate shot at the basket. We see KCP with a correct reading and rotation. But it was too late.

Nice design on this Phoenix elbow. Dribble pass to the weak side, Booker gets out, but see Crowder stay on the flank. Nobody around. Drummond is flat, Ayton has an easy shot on the edge. Great game by Booker. pic.twitter.com/c7GpmMzxo7

– Steve Jones Jr (@stevejones20) May 23, 2021

Mobility

The Lakers are a solid team with Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Marc Gasol at the forefront. The Suns only have Ayton to play against these big men. But if you look closely, Ayton is much more mobile than Drummond and Gasol. Plus, Davis is a real threat among these three. In the first game, Ayton used that mobility to effectively defend Davis. AD had trouble moving to the ring and bouncing off his jumps. The Suns’ big man parried every shot, taking advantage of his length and speed.

Davis and the Lakers were able to adjust in Game 2. Still, the Suns should feel safe in this game. Not every team has a player that can match the Lakers’ great players, especially Davis. The Suns have Ayton. And maybe he’s all they need.

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