The 19-20 start of the Sun is really amazing. This traditional Western powerhouse, which has fallen in recent years, has regained its glory under the leadership of Monty Williams. In the first 10 games of the season, they scored 6 wins and 4 losses. The outside world is considered to have the opportunity to compete for a playoff ticket; however, in the subsequent 20 regular season games, they only got 5 wins and 15 losses, falling out of the top eight in the west.

However, in the last 11 games, the Suns have achieved 6 wins and 5 losses, and they seem to be back on track. During this time, Monty Williams did make a lot of adjustments to the lineup, even the team Inside core Ayton was placed on the bench.

You know, Ayton was the No. 1 pick for the Suns last year, 71 regular-season games and 70 starts in the 18-19 season. It is the cornerstone of the Suns’ revival process. Then why Monty Williams put such an important player on the bench Seats?

Was this arrogant man who overwhelmed Doncic and Trey Yang in the draft really overrated?

Admittedly, Ayton’s progress this season can’t be compared with Dongcic and Trey Yang. Dongcic is already an MVP candidate with all-star starting popularity. Although Trey Young plays in the bottom eagle, But it is also recognized as an All-Star player, but because of the suspension, Ayton is behind the starting point of this season.

In other words, Ayton’s 19-20 season has just started, and he seems to have just entered the state 25 games behind others …

As Ubre said, “Ayton is very present and a dominant big man, but he is still learning how to find his status in the league. If he is more focused, he will make more progress.” .

For Monty Williams, although the return of Ayton is equivalent to the team’s “reinforcement”, it also brings a problem-the team’s original lineup rotation needs to be pushed down for Ayton Make a place.

However, the strong performance of the Sun at the beginning of the season also proved that Rubio + Booker + Ubre’s perimeter configuration can fully support the team’s offense; on the basis of these three, with two space-type insiders who are proficient in offensive attack, Sa Rich and Baines can make the team’s system work.

You can see that the five-man team of Rubio + Booker + Ubre + Saric + Baines has brought the Suns 10-10, which is the team’s highest win rate.

If Ayton is directly replaced by Baynes, the offensive space of the Sun will appear awkward. Rubio + Booker + Ubre + Saric + Ayton’s five-point lineup is only 17.6%, The net win every 36 minutes is -1.2 points.

On the one hand, the three backcourt attackers at the start of the Sun all need to break through the space, and Ayton can’t open the space as a fixed-point three-point shooter like Baynes, which will compress the survival of the three backcourt attackers. surroundings.

On the other hand, this season’s Sun ’s engine Rubio relies heavily on cover to drive the offense, while Baines and defenders play a much higher pick-and-roll ratio than Ayton. At the same time, Ayton’s screen quality is obviously not as good as that of Baynes, nor can it be like Bains creates pick-and-rolls to create offensive space.

Ayton has earned 1.188 points per pick-and-roll this season, more than 64% of the league’s players, and looks good, but compared to Bains’ 1.301 points level, it’s a witch.

And Ayton only had 12.5% ​​pick-and-roll shots and 65.6% chose direct shots; Baines had 44.1% select shots and was more efficient than the league ’s 83%. In the basket, Baines was 91% more efficient than Ayton.

Baynes and Ayton are like the sweet troubles of Monty Williams, so you can see the Sun tried the twin towers, but Monty Williams quickly rejected the starting of the twin towers of the Sun, “I I don’t like the twin towers because I don’t want to keep Baines in the corner all the time. I think that letting him be an axis will give him more talent. “

The twin towers are not the sun’s solution to sweet troubles, and Ayton can’t open up the space because he is not a good space-based four-pointer-he only shoots 34% from the field and has a pick and roll The external ammunition has only 0.647 points each time, which is 13% of the bottom of the league …

Therefore, Monty Williams will try to put Ayton into the second team, because this is the best way to balance the selection of the lineup. In addition to Kaminski’s injury, the sun does need a team that can drive the second team. The core of the inside line, in the words of Monty Williams, is “We need him to play the pivot of the second lineup.”

In other words, letting Ayton play off the bench is more of a solution in the Monty-Williams lineup experiment than Ayton playing too badly.

After changing to the bench, Ayton still played very efficiently, averaging 14.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, but the difference is that Ayton playing the bench only had 0.8 assists, while Ayton playing the starting game had 2.8 assists.

Substituted Ayton is not “the axis of the second team” as Monty Williams imagined. Instead, he is more like a bottom-scoring machine-although the overall number of touches has not changed much, the number of touches in the elbow area has dropped from 6 to 4.8, and the number of low-post attacks has also dropped from 7 to 4.2 …

Well, Ayton’s substitutes are efficient, but this is not the best way to use Ayton, nor is it the axis of the second lineup envisioned by Monty Williams. Instead, Ayton’s play requires a strong enough teammate around him. Feed him the ball and attract the firepower to play his efficient end of the basket.

You can see that Ayton’s plus and minus for the bench is only +0.6, while the starting Ayton has a plus and minus of +8.8.

So, although Monty Williams said “Ayton will be a substitute for the Suns’ third consecutive game”, he changed his mind in the second away game.

On January 17, the Suns played against the Knicks, and Ayton returned to the starting lineup. This time it was not a double tower, but a big and small configuration of Ayton’s single-core inside during the first game of the season. The only difference was that Ubrai was absent due to injury Michael Bridges replaced him as the starter.

And this time Ayton returned to the starting game, he did not fail the trust of Monty Williams, scored 26 points and 21 rebounds in 34 minutes, becoming the youngest player in team history to get double 20 in a single game.

However, a 26 + 21 could not completely make Ayton settled for the start. In this game, because Briggs replaced the absent Ubray, the Sun ’s one and four children with Ayton as the main body had a sense of space. If Ubré, who needs to break through space, returns, the sun’s interior space will become crowded again, will Aidon’s starting position be shaken again?

But no matter what, Ayton’s replacement to the bench is not an overestimate of his strength. He can still put the ball into the basket in the most efficient way on the court, and the Sun should still find a way to put Ayton back to the starting line. After all, This is the cornerstone of the team’s future. It’s just that the Suns need to continue to think about finding the most balanced lineup rotation.

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