Phoenix Suns star Deandre Ayton is immensely talented, but he’s not known as a “maximum effort” kind of player.
One would think the playoffs would be a good time for Ayton to turn up that competitive fire. Yet one play in particular against the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals Saturday didn’t show that effort.
A viral video on Twitter has surfaced showing Ayton standing flat-footed and watching Nuggets star Nikola Jokić get off four second-chance tips or shots just a step away.
Jokić missed all four tips/shots, but that didn’t make Ayton look any better.
Deandre Ayton’s effort in game 1 of the western conference semis lmao unreal pic.twitter.com/mxWbYc9OJb
— andrew leezus (@AndrewLeezus) April 30, 2023
This one play didn’t make a difference in the game as the Nuggets won easily, 125-107. But the Suns are going to need more effort than that out of Ayton if they hope to knock off No. 1 seed Denver.
Ayton finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds, but the enduring image many fans will take away is him watching Jokić play volleyball under the basket.
Wow Really? That’s unacceptable for a regular season games never mind the 2nd round of the #NBAPlayoffs smh #NBA #NBATwitter
— @The2MinuteWarning (@ALFREDG27948201) April 30, 2023
Your here to get boards and he’s watching during the semis? Give me his check I can do a better job
— EJ Nduka “The Judge” (@EjTheJudge) April 30, 2023
This is so unreal 2 seven footers and neither can box out while the other grabs the board is insane. Literally the fundamentals of basketball.
— Jose Zepeda Jr (@NoWeyJose420) April 30, 2023
He’s the reason why the Suns are losing
— Smooth (@Feldz8618) April 30, 2023
My relationships rebound better than this
— The Realest Swerve Strickland (@swerveconfident) April 30, 2023