Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Three Things to Know: Deandre Ayton outduels Luka Doncic in rookie showdown

Devin Booker set for opening night Suns can finally incorporate ‘our big rock Devin Booker set for opening night Suns can finally incorporate ‘our big rock
Cary Erickson | 21 October, 2018, 22:52

Between Booker's late-game heroics, a whopping 19 triples, Ayton's solid debut, a few timely daggers from Josh Jackson and steady production from T.J. Both teams are coming off of a disappointing season previous year. The number third overall pick Luka Doncic makes his season debut against the top pick in the draft class DeAndre Ayton. This led to big changes, including the hiring of a new head coach in former Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov.

The Phoenix Suns are turning to Isaiah Canaan to handle point guard duties in the team's season opener against the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night. Granted, they've only played one game, but for a team that finished with the NBA's worst record last season, winning only 21 games, maybe let's let them savor being in first place for now.

Just five weeks ago Devin Booker underwent hand surgery and was unsure if he would be ready for the season opener. What matters is not where Ayton and Doncic are right now but how much better are they around Christmas. The No. 1 overall pick, Deandre Ayton, added 18 points and 10 rebounds.

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"Preseason really helped me a lot to get my butterflies out early and now I'm ready", Ayton said. "This is the most fun I've ever had playing basketball". It wasn't until rookie Jalen Brunson of the Mavericks brought the game within 4 points 94-90.

The Suns shooting guard ended the night with 35 points and seven assists while going 6/10 from three and 12/19 from the field.

The Suns made 19 of 34 3s, seven of nine in the fourth quarter. Canaan was one of nine players to start at point guard for Phoenix last season. The Suns have room for growth but with the veteran presence of Jamal Crawford on the bench will help mentor the youth on this team.