In Phoenix, everyone seems happy to have moved on Deandre Ayton, the first choice of the 2018 Draft having annoyed people in Arizona. But the converse is true for the Bahamian native…
The pivot, who has still turned in a “double double” every year since he joined the Big League, wants to change his reputation in Oregon. Which he therefore joined as part of the transfer of Damian Lillard.
“My name is DominAyton” he blurted out like this when of the Blazers’ “media day”. “I play with a lot of passion. I also have a lot of determination, but I try to avoid the hypocrisy of telling my teammate one thing and doing another. I’m more of a team player who makes the decision to sacrifice and stand back… But when it comes to winning, I’m the toughest, most serious guy possible.”
For the 25-year-old pivot, all the criticism of his “soft” and casual side comes from context.
“You have to take into account the position I occupied and the environment in which I operated. This can sometimes take a toll on your mind… I accomplished a lot, and my motivation wasn’t in question then. In the playoffs, no matter the circumstances, I play the best I can. I play as hard as possible. This won’t be a problem at all. This is one of the reasons why I told you this summer that I was going to change what people say about me. I’m in a franchise that wants me and wants me to succeed.”
Clearly, and even beyond his complicated relationship with Monty Williams, he didn’t have that feeling in Phoenix. In Portland, he found a young group, where he intended to be able to express himself fully.
“The coach will guide me on how I should go about defending and we will all work together from there” he concludes. “We are all young. None of us know everything, and that’s the nice thing. We are young and we are learning, but we are very hungry. We are really very hungry. »
How to read the stats? MJ = matches played; Min = Minutes; Shots = Successful shots / Attempted shots; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; Off = offensive rebound; Def=defensive rebound; Tot = Total rebounds; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost balls; Ct: Against; Pts = Points.