When do the star centers of the NBA stop listening and just start playing? Deandre Ayton might not have the option playing alongside Chris Paul.
The Phoenix Suns are playing the best basketball in the league and at this moment are one of the top-2 teams right beside the Golden State Warriors. Currently I would take the Suns to win it all, but it is still so damn early.
A player that still has the ability to take his game to another level this year is DA. We always expect more because we can see it in spurts and we just freakin love him. The chemistry between CP and DA has started to blend this year, but right now, I am seeing a lot of talking between the two… still.
The attention that DA gets from CP on the court during game action is more than apparent. It has me thinking, how much of the teaching has already been explained by Paul, and how much of it is new? New situations on the floor where DA’s inexperience might show and knowing where to go off pick-and-rolls.
I see it repeatedly between DA and CP. There is the bark from CP after a missed assignment or the small talk after a timeout is called and both players are headed to the bench. You can usually see an annoyed look on CP’s face when doing so.
CP is known as a talker. Never giving up on ideas on how to improve and brainstorming every waking second. So maybe it is just that. Maybe this is all just that! But I’ll continue.
The pressure and reassurance by a person in charge by maintaining order might be what DA needs and will always need. He might still be seeing what he can get away with on the court by hiding in certain situations on the court.
For example, DA at times will take plays off offensively by pushing himself near the rim, surrounded by defenders, where teammates are unable to deliver him the ball. On the pick-and-roll, you will also find him doing the same thing. This can easily be part of the execution of the play, but I don’t see it that way.
The rest of the Suns starters, including Cameron Johnson always look in sync and where to be on the floor offensively. Their shots may not go in, but the release on every attempt look perfected. At times, I will see DA look so out of place and still rushing shots.
Here comes the trade deadline...
Last year I was absolutely dead wrong about wanting to trade DA for a competent big man. This year, I am on the side of, do not make a trade of any kind to destroy the core group of players on this team.
Like last years playoffs, the Suns went as far as DA would and did take them. Then why am I nit-picking at something that he will most likely pick up by years end? Because he needs to beat the opposing teams to the finish line in finding ways to stop him.
DA really has been exceptional so far this year and I am excited to see where he is at the end of the year. But I worry about the time when CP is gone from the team and there really isn’t a player of his caliber to keep DA in check on offense.
This also is part of the Chris Paul Experience and we as Suns fans are very lucky to be along for the ride. I hope the thrill is just as important as the teaching for DA. There will be a time when he needs to take ownership of knowing exactly where to be at every moment of the game on offense.
I’ve mentioned before that anything extra from DA on the offensive end is the just the cherry on the sundae when it comes with that stellar defensive play. Only weeks later, I am here still looking for more.