NBA Jan 6, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; The NBA logo on the floor before the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

[Andrew Leezus, Leezus Media]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.