Months ago, the NBA Draft analysts had a fun time making comparisons between Philadelphia 76ers’ center Joel Embiid, and Arizona’s big man, Deandre Ayton. Being the big time smack-talker that he is, Embiid made sure that he got his shots in well before he even ended up playing against Ayton. So, the matchup between Ayton and Embiid was a highly anticipated one that we finally got on Monday as the Phoenix Suns traveled to Philly.
For the first time in his career, Ayton took on Embiid in a close matchup that the Suns ultimately ended up losing. Although Ayton had a decent night, he couldn’t precisely contain Embiid. That’s not exactly a bad thing for Ayton, as Embiid is known to get the best of his opponents this season. Embiid finished the game with 33 points and 17 rebounds. Ayton didn’t do too bad himself, as he dropped 17 points with nine rebounds.
It was clear that the rookie still has ways to go before he can genuinely shut down Embiid. If anything, the matchup with Embiid served as a valuable learning lesson for Ayton. As the Sixers center had no problems taking care of business on the young player, Ayton decided that he is going to come up with a clever method moving forward. He’s going to just copy all of Embiid’s techniques about how he uses his body.
Ayton Speaks on His Matchup With Embiid
As Embiid is currently playing MVP caliber basketball, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for more players to emulate what Embiid does down low. Aside from the matchup itself though, Ayton has done a stellar job so far in the NBA. He’s currently averaging around 16 points-per-game, with 10 rebounds-per-game. His offense is far from an issue, but he could use a little bit of work on the defensive part of his game.
Hopefully, Ayton takes his notes from his matchup with Philadelphia and applies it to his game on both the offense and the defense. Maybe during their next matchup, Ayton will have a better plan for Embiid. The Sixers will take on the Suns once again in January at the start of the new year. Will Ayton have Embiid’s technique master? It remains to be seen.