News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Oct. 5, 2021: Caribbean born NBA star, Deandre Ayton, enjoyed a breakout season in his third campaign in the NBA helping the Phoenix Suns progress to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993. Ayton was outstanding throughout the season and carried his form into the playoffs. He along with Devin Booker and Chris Paul were the foundation pieces of their charge towards the Western Conference crown.
It appeared that the NBA Championship would soon follow after storming into a 2-0 lead in the Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his team-mates rallied to secure the title. Despite their disappointing defeat, the Suns are still backed as one of the leading contenders for the crown in the 2021/22 season in the NBA betting odds at +1400. Ayton and Booker will once again be the driving forces for the Suns as they aim to become the prominent team in the Western Conference.
Ayton, who was born in the Bahamas, will be the key to ensuring that the Suns can maintain their stance ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors. At the age of 23, the center is just scratching the surface of his potential. There were times in the last campaign where he frustrated both head coach Monty Williams and fans due to his production in the final third. However, no one would doubt his importance on defense, dominating in the paint for the Suns, allowing Booker and Paul to relax into their respective roles.
The center then took the step forward that Phoenix were waiting for when he produced a flawless shooting performance in game one of the Suns’ series against the Lakers in the post-season, scoring 21 points and making 10 out of his 11 attempts on the night. Not only was his accuracy on point, but it came when the Suns needed him the most against LeBron James and company. The standard of his displays allowed Williams’ men to ease past the Lakers along with the Nuggets and the Clippers.
Ayton was sensational in the post-season and did his utmost to ease the burden on Booker and Paul in the crucial moments of games. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of his displays was his consistency and maturity under pressure. He averaged 15.8 points and 11.7 rebounds per game during their run, highlighting his prowess in the final third.
The 23-year-old now has to build on his performances, and will be carrying the weight of expectations after his post-season run. Phoenix too will have a target on their backs after winning the Western Conference. Every team in the west will be gunning for the Suns, therefore, they must be flawless in their pursuit of a second Finals appearance in a row.
The Bahamas-born center will play a significant role in determining whether they are successful. If he takes a step back and regresses to the player he was at the start of last term, then the Suns could have an issue. However, if Ayton remains at his post-season level and perhaps even takes a step forward to add further skills to his game then Williams and his team will be very hard to shift at the top.