Deandre Ayton says Suns will be a ‘different team’ in Game 2 Vs. Nuggets

Apr 30, 2023, 6:35 PM | Updated: May 1, 2023, 9:05 am

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) in the second half of Game 1 of an NBA second-round basketba...

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) in the second half of Game 1 of an NBA second-round basketball series Saturday, April 29, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

When mighty Casey struck out, there was no joy in Mudville.

Likewise, after the Phoenix Suns lost to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Saturday night, there was no joy for Phoenix Suns fans, particularly for their version of Casey, Deandre Ayton.

But there is a game Monday in Denver and the Suns feel like Ayton and the rest of the squad will be geared up for the fastballs of the Nuggets.

“We know we have to be more physical and play with more urgency,” said head coach Monty Williams. “Our (urgency) scale is from 7-10. We don’t go 1-10, we say 7-10 and I thought we were below seven last night when it comes to playing with force and urgency even in transition.

“Our urgency wasn’t where it needed to be and that falls on my shoulders.”

And while Ayton has taken the majority of scorn from Suns fans about the lack of intensity — particularly on a single clip of him watching Nikola Jokic hit the offensive glass — Williams said the lack of urgency was not exclusive to him.

“When he (Ayton) plays with force, the table is set, if you will and so, he would probably say that he could ratchet it up three or four levels, but I think the whole team feels that way. We all have a little bit of personal disappointment because when you play against the best team in the West, why would you not bring it?” Williams said.

Ayton, for his part, agrees.

“(We are) going to be a completely different team next game,” Ayton said. “You get back home after you get your ass kicked and you figure it out.”

Figuring out pick and roll defense and re-energizing their pick and roll offense is paramount, Williams said.

“That two-man game with (Jamal Murray) and Jokic is one of the best in the league, so you have to communicate early. You have to be physical to the legal limit and at times, you have to change up the coverage so you are not giving them the same look,” Williams said.

The Suns are looking to be better Monday and Ayton hopes the Suns can meet that goal.

“Our motto is, ‘we don’t lose twice,’” Ayton said.

Catch Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals in Denver on Monday at 7 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app or

Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton and Damian Lillard...

Arizona Sports

36 unbothered: Deandre Ayton traded to Blazers for package

Deandre Ayton is traded to the Blazers. Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson are headed to Phoenix.

12 hours ago

Frank Vogel, Phoenix Suns head coach 2...

Kellan Olson

Frank Vogel is X-Factor of Phoenix Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic, Deandre Ayton swap

It will be impossible for the Suns to replace what Deandre Ayton brings but Frank Vogel is the right coach to maximize Jusuf Nurkic.

12 hours ago

Phoenix Suns forward Frank Kaminsky (8) and Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) battle ...

Stephen Gugliociello

Suns get lowest grade in Lillard, Ayton deal, but still solid review from ESPN

The hot takes are still rolling in for the Phoenix Suns' handling of the departure of Deandre Ayton from the Valley in his trade to Portland.

13 hours ago

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns reacts against the Atlanta Hawks during the first quarter at ...

Dan Bickley

Deandre Ayton’s lack of playoff moxie is no longer the Suns’ problem

The Suns polished off their championship roster on Wednesday by getting rid of Deandre Ayton and adding depth to the roster.

16 hours ago

Deandre Ayton guards Damian Lillard...

Arizona Sports

Reactions flood in following trade involving Damian Lillard, Deandre Ayton

The NBA world quickly caught fire with the news of a three-team trade centered around Damian Lillard and Deandre Ayton.

19 hours ago

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns during Game Four of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals at ...

Arizona Sports

Watch: Arizona Sports reacts to Deandre Ayton trade to Blazers as part of Damian Lillard deal

Empire of the Suns' Kellan Olson and Kevin Zimmerman join Arizona Sports' Wolf & Luke to react to the deal one week out from training camp.

20 hours ago

Deandre Ayton says Suns will be a ‘different team’ in Game 2 Vs. Nuggets