Suns’ Williams on Game 7 loss, Deandre Ayton spat: ‘We had a bad day’

Jul 19, 2022, 9:25 AM

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns stands with head coach Monty Williams during the second half ...

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns stands with head coach Monty Williams during the second half the NBA game against the Sacramento Kings at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Suns 114-103. The Kings defeated the Suns 114-103. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns’ promising season came crashing down in the form of a Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

On top of the disappointment felt around the state, there was an added layer to the loss between Suns head coach Monty Williams and starting center Deandre Ayton.

Following the center’s substitution just three minutes into the third quarter of Game 7, Williams and Ayton exchanged words on the bench.

When the series-deciding bout was settled, Ayton registered just 17 minutes of playing time. After the game, Williams said the matter was “internal.”

Now months removed from the disappointing playoff exit, Williams has had time to reflect on the way things transpired.

“I didn’t feel like I had to say anything. I was just doing my job,” Williams told Marc J. Spears in an article published by ESPN on Monday. “We had a bad day, but we had an unbelievable season. Unfortunately, in sports and even in society, we focus on the one bad thing. It hurt like crazy, and it still hurts. It was embarrassing to play that way, but as the dust settles and I look at the season from a holistic perspective, I look at all the good stuff that happened.

“This team is a new standard in Suns basketball and it’s part of a process. The one thing I understand is when I first got there, the team wasn’t winning many games and so nobody was talking about anything that was going on. And there was stuff going on because it’s a team and you’re dealing with people. Now that you’re winning and having some success, things are talked about, and that’s a good thing in my opinion. You may not like what everybody talking about, but nonetheless, we’re a team that has expectations and so it just goes with the territory.”

In the 17:27 Ayton was on the court in Game 7, the center recorded five points on 40% shooting to go along with four rebounds and two assists.

Despite the optics of his final playoff performance of the season, Ayton still turned in a respectable postseason (13 games) behind 17.9 points and 8.9 rebounds over 30.5 minutes per contest.

For Ayton, who did not speak with the media after Game 7, it’s about putting the way things ended in the rearview mirror as he prepares for Year 5 with the Suns.

“Game 7 was an anomaly. We let that get away from us as a team. That is all in the past. We’re going to look forward. We are going to move on,” Ayton told Spears.

The duo’s comments come on the heels of Ayton signing a four-year, $133 million maximum contract extension with the Suns on Monday.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Valley Suns G League team logo...

Bailey Leasure

G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim: Valley Suns completes our connection to the NBA

NBA G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim joins Burns & Gambo and talks about the new Phoenix Suns G-League team, the Valley Suns.

1 day ago

Duke's Kyle Filipowski drives in on Houston's J'Wan Roberts in the second half of the sweet 16 roun...

Ryan Pasiecznik

ESPN mock draft has Suns taking Duke’s Kyle Filipowski

Duke center Kyle Filipowski could entice the Suns as a center of the future. Phoenix owns the No. 22 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

2 days ago

LeBron and Bronny James chat...

Dan Bickley

Could Phoenix Suns fans truly embrace LeBron, Bronny James?

Do you want to win your first championship courtesy of LeBron James? It’s a relevant question with reports the Suns plan to work out Bronny.

2 days ago

Bronny James of the USC Trojans during a break in action on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, against the Ar...

Arizona Sports

Bronny James will work out for Suns ahead of 2024 NBA Draft, per report

The Phoenix Suns will hold a workout with USC prospect Bronny James before the 2024 NBA Draft, reports The Athletic's Shams Charania.

3 days ago

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker look on...

Tyler Drake

Suns’ Kevin Durant earns All-NBA 2nd Team honors, Devin Booker named to 3rd Team

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant and guard Devin Booker picked up All-NBA honors on Wednesday, the league announced.

4 days ago

Follow @KellanOlson...

Kellan Olson

Valley Suns reopen avenue for development through G League

The Suns have to maximize every possibility for improving their roster and they reopened one of those avenues with a G League franchise.

4 days ago

Suns’ Williams on Game 7 loss, Deandre Ayton spat: ‘We had a bad day’