Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton isn’t having the easiest time in the Denver Nuggets series.
Things haven’t been easy for him, and Suns head coach Monty Williams is acting on that.
The player was benched late in Game 3 for the Suns, which didn’t sit well with him.
Monty Williams praised Jock Landale for putting in the effort to help his team secure a win.
Deandre Ayton exited the arena before the Suns’ locker room opened to media. Monty Williams had high praise for Jock Landale’s effort. https://t.co/ZILIkcuNMD
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 6, 2023
Many fans reacted to this decision, blasting Ayton for his lack of intensity on the court.
He wanted to leave last year. Him and Monty don’t get along. The Suns matched his restricted offer instead of letting him go. Basically holding him hostage. He should be playing with more effort though regardless.
— Veeno (@kevsallen) May 6, 2023
Ayton needs to grow up and film study these two for the next 48 hours.. pic.twitter.com/XLN258WseB
— The 600lb Guerrilla (@mrkillbill78) May 6, 2023
Suns made the mistake of matching the qualifying offer with the pacers. They should have let him go to the pacers if this is the type of attitude he has.
— Alex 🇵🇭🏀(43-39)(19-14)(Ecstatic LAL Fan) (@Fire__Monkey23) May 6, 2023
Ayton got the entitlement of superstar and the effort of a dude who's mom sent him to ymca to get some excercise.
— 🚀 (@rocketrandhawa) May 6, 2023
The player wasn’t happy over this, and even left Chris Paul hanging as the point guard tried to cheer him up.
Deandre Ayton left Chris Paul hanging twice after getting pulled for Jock Landale in the 4th quarter of Game 3.
He also exited the arena quickly before media were allowed in, per @espn_mcmahon 👀
(🎥 via @eliavgabay)pic.twitter.com/VHbpKNLYgX
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 6, 2023
This was likely a hard decision for the Suns, but it was definitely the best decision.
Ayton hasn’t played at the highest level and the team needs to make the adjustments against the Nuggets.
An 11-second sequence shared by Kevin O’Connor perfectly described how bad it was in Game 3 for him.
Rough sequence for Deandre Ayton:
-Can't finish against Jamal Murray at the rim
-Gets stripped after a rebound
-Slow to recover on Nikola Jokic's shot pic.twitter.com/EGk4lkw8BR
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 6, 2023
Fortunately, the Suns got the win behind Devin Booker’s 47 points and Kevin Durant adding 39.
Ayton was supposed to big a big factor in the series and now that Chris Paul is injured, he’s expected to take a bigger role.
However, it seems like Ayton’s participation is getting smaller, and the player isn’t doing anything to improve.
The center’s minutes could keep decreasing if he doesn’t step up.
The Suns are ready to take Game 4 too, but without Ayton playing like he’s supposed to, the Nuggets will have a lot of issues keeping up with the Nuggets.NEXT: Skip Bayless Praises Kevin Durant After Game 3 Performance