‘Spoon-Fed Me’ – Suns’ DeAndre Ayton Discusses How Chris Paul Has Helped Him Grow This Season

Published 04/02/2021, 1:00 PM EDT
Jan 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) and guard Chris Paul (3) and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and center Deandre Ayton (22) and forward Jae Crowder (99) react following a fourth quarter time out against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


Chris Paul has completely transformed the Phoenix Suns. Last season, despite going 8-0 in the NBA bubble, the Suns once again missed the playoffs. In the off-season, the Suns went and traded for Chris Paul to pair with Devin Booker. Since the two have combined together, the Suns have been absolutely excellent. They look like they definitely have a spot in the playoffs and currently hold the second seed in the Western Conference.

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DeAndre Ayton on Chris Paul helping the team

Phoenix Suns player DeAndre Ayton spoke recently about Chris Paul, and he noted how much Chris Paul has helped him improve on the court. Paul is an extremely intelligent player and constantly communicates with Ayton on how to play his position. Ayton noted that Paul has been setting up the team perfectly, helping him understand how to be a presence at the rim during the game.

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Jan 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives as center Deandre Ayton (22) sets a block against Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris (11) in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Ayton said, “He’s definitely showing me different ways how to get to the basket easily, how much of a threat I am to the basket when it’s in a pick and roll. Definitely, angles off the screen, you know, getting those both open. And just you know, always being a presence at the rim.”

CP3 – Key figure of the Suns

Ayton added that Paul has been crucial for his growth this season. Paul has been able to teach him how to be an anchor on the defensive end of the court. Furthermore, his excellent vision, on and off the court, has allowed the rest of the team to thrive on both ends. Ayton is glad that Paul can get him the easy buckets, noting that Paul has been spoon-feeding him this entire time. Ayton’s numbers this year do justify that comment.

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Ayton added, “He gave me this key to be the anchor of the defense and in the middle, be everybody’s eyes and you know, protecting our rim and it’s a big deal when it comes to our team and he gets me the easy baskets and spoon-fed me most of the time.”

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Can Chris Paul lead the Suns to the Western Conference Finals? Currently, the Suns are the second-best team in the West, behind the Jazz, and they are playing some of their best basketball. DeAndre Ayton has shown massive improvement this year, showing glimpses of what was expected of him when he was selected number one overall in the NBA draft before Luka Doncic.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1149 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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