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Phoenix Suns Update: Deandre Ayton Knee Questionable For Sunday

Phoenix Suns Update: Deandre Ayton Knee Questionable For Sunday

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Phoenix Suns update Deandre Ayton knee questionable for Sunday

Deandre Ayton suffered a right knee contusion during Friday's win over the Chicago Bulls and is questionable for Sunday's game against the Dallas Mavericks. If Ayton misses that contest, Jock Landale will serve as his primary backup center.

The Suns are searching for a center to replace Ayton as they attempt to make a run at the playoffs. Ideally, they want someone who can shoot up from three and take on an expanded role in their offense.

Ayton sprained his left ankle against the New Orleans Pelicans

On Friday night, the Phoenix Suns faced a shortage of depth in their frontcourt after center Deandre Ayton suffered an ankle injury against the New Orleans Pelicans. The 24-year-old sprained his left ankle during the opening quarter of their 124-111 win against New Orleans and is expected to miss at least one week while undergoing further evaluation.

At the start of the first period, Ayton landed on Jonas Valanciunas' foot while pulling up for a jump shot. Although he was able to recover, he did not return to play in the match.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Suns will reevaluate Ayton next week. If he misses time, Bismack Biyombo and Jock Landale will fill in for center minutes while Ayton rests.

Biyombo has done an admirable job of covering Ayton thus far this season, and should see increased responsibility when the forward returns from injury. His 11-point, 13-rebound double-double with two blocks in 23 minutes on Friday earned him a place in the starting lineup.

Though Ayton hasn't exactly been a star right away, his shooting percentage in the paint remains above 50%. Additionally, he leads the Suns in rebounds, assists and steals.

He's an ideal streamer in fantasy basketball due to his impressive rebounding and block rates. Additionally, if he continues receiving increased playing time, his field-goal percentage may improve which should further boost his value as a streamer.

It's worth noting that Ayton has a history of ankle injuries, so the Suns would do well to take their time with this one. This could give him one or two extra weeks of rest in order to return to full health sooner rather than later.

The Suns should be able to maintain their winning streak even without Ayton, though they'll have to exercise a little caution against larger teams like Houston and Minnesota while he's out. They have a four-game road trip ahead of them, so it would be wise for Ayton to be available for those contests.

Ayton did not practice Saturday

Deandre Ayton did not practice on Saturday and his status for Sunday's game against the Dallas Mavericks remains uncertain. Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic reports that Ayton suffered a knee contusion during Friday night's win over the Chicago Bulls; therefore, it is doubtful if he will return to action against the Mavericks; however, he should be ready for Charlotte on March 1.

Over the last few weeks, Ayton has been one of Phoenix's most consistent players. He's averaging 17.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 25.5 minutes per game over their last three matches.

His success has been due to the same factors that always propel Ayton: rolling hard, running the floor and smashing the offensive glass. But he's also been helped by increased physicality as well as some creative plays in the post.

Ayton has enjoyed a strong recent run, yet his midrange efficiency is down and his post-ups aren't quite as successful as they once were. In fact, Ayton's post-up rate over the last five games is just below league average - just one touch below that of other players.

He's still averaging 3.5 offensive rebounds per game, which helps explain why his second-chance point rate has gone up nearly 10% over the last five games. Additionally, he's playing with more assertive offense than usual, scoring in the paint on short rolls and getting more second-chance buckets when he gets on the block.

But Ayton is no longer the same player he was in 2021. Ayton's public Game 7 spat with coach Monty Williams, rampant trade rumors and some unanswered questions -- like whether or not he actually spoke to him over the summer -- all had an impact on his start to this season.

At the end of their Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Ayton claimed he hadn't spoken with Williams again since then. This suggests that Ayton needs to sit down with his coach and work through this issue together.

Ayton is day-to-day

According to Duane Rankin of the Phoenix Suns, Ayton is currently listed as "day-to-day" with a knee contusion. He hasn't practiced this week and was expected to miss Sunday's game against Dallas Mavericks.

The Suns received some good news today, as they have been dealing with an abundance of injuries and are currently tied for seventh in the Western Conference. They are nine and a half games behind Denver Nuggets who are playing well.

Since his return, Ayton has averaged 23.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, shooting 58.3 percent from the floor and 86.5 percent at the foul line.

He has hit six 3-pointers in those games, which is a career high. Additionally, he has blocked five shots and recorded four double-doubles this season.

Despite his recent struggles, Ayton still projects as a top-10 center in 9-cat formats. With Devin Booker (left groin) and Kevin Durant (knee) both missing significant time this year, Ayton could potentially fill in as the main big man for the Suns.

Ayton just finished up his third consecutive double-double, posting 16 points (9-14 FG, 2-2 FT), 16 rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes during Wednesday's 105-91 victory against the Hornets. With this season's average of 20.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game - his highest scoring output in five years in the NBA - Ayton now averages 20.5 points per game.

Friday night, the Suns and Clippers meet in Phoenix. Derrick Rose has put together an impressive stretch of play so far this season with 24.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in February - his best month thus far. With that kind of performance, there's every reason to believe he can continue this upward trajectory.

He's been a key component on the defensive end, making some of his best plays of the season so far. Over his last two games, he's allowed just 1.97 points and 3.29 rebounds - an improvement from his 19-game average of 4.07 points and 2.81 rebounds before getting injured.

He's been averaging an impressive 2.5 blocks per game this season, up from his previous average of 1.5 blocks in four years in the NBA. His improved defensive play has earned him a place in the Suns' rotation and could potentially end their streak of eight wins with victory against the Clippers on Thursday night.

Ayton is questionable for Sunday

Deandre Ayton is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Dallas Mavericks with a knee injury. He didn't practice Saturday and the team is taking him day-by-day. If he can't play in this contest, Jock Landale and Bismack Biyombo should see increased minutes.

Since January, Ayton hasn't recorded a double-double in back-to-back games. But on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks he produced an impressive 31 points (13-15 FG, 5-6 FT), 16 rebounds, two assists and one block over 31 minutes of action.

His shooting efficiency has dropped a bit this season, but Ayton still managed to record a double-double in each of his last five matches. He should continue to see plenty of minutes going forward as the Suns strive to enhance their shot selection.

He's been an impressive rebounder in recent games, recording eight double-doubles in 10 contests. The Suns hope he can sustain this production throughout the remainder of this season as they strive for a Western Conference title.

As Ayton continues his ascent, Ayton could potentially become the third All-Star for the Phoenix Suns. With aspirations of becoming one of NBA's top five players, Ayton has all the makings to be an impact player in the future.

In the playoffs, Ayton was one of the premier defenders in basketball, holding Milwaukee Bucks to a 53% shooting percentage while averaging 14.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks across 17 postseason games. His performance was instrumental in Phoenix's 104-103 victory in Game 2 of the 2021 Western Conference finals.

With the Suns, Ayton has made it clear that he wants to establish himself as a top-tier player. At just 24, he has the potential to blossom into an NBA star.

Ayton remains upbeat about the Suns' future despite facing numerous obstacles, believing they can make some noise this season. He believes the team has an opportunity to win an NBA championship this year and is eager to assist them in achieving it.

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