Pregame Post-Ups: C's Set To Meet No. 1 Pick Ayton in Phoenix

Thursday, November 8 - Celtics at Suns

Pregame – Celts Set To Meet No. 1 Pick Ayton in Phoenix

PHOENIX – The Boston Celtics have seen Deandre Ayton on tape. Now it’s time to see him on the court.

Boston will face off with Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 Draft, for the first time tonight in Phoenix. The 7-foot-1 center has opened his career by averaging 15.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game through his first 10 games.

The level at which Ayton has played has garnered strong reviews, and that trend continued with Brad Stevens prior to tip-off. Boston’s coach was asked about what he has seen from Ayton on film, and all he did in response was rave about the rookie.

“He’s a special talent,” said Stevens. “Skilled, knows how to play, is huge in there, so he’s great rolling and ducking in. Plays above the rim but can also pass. Again, skilled from the perimeter. He’s a heck of a player, as you would assume that the first pick would be.”

A heck of a player, but also a unique player who presents a unique challenge to the C’s. Ayton is different than the two centers Boston has faced thus far on its five-game road trip, Myles Turner and Nikola Jokic.

“I think going from guys like Myles Turner, who is a really skilled offensive player that’s pushed his range out to the 3-point line but blocks shots, to Jokic, who is one of the best passers in the game and makes plays for himself and others, now to Ayton, who can do a little bit of both of those things, I think that every night the challenge changes a little bit,” said Stevens. “But he brings everything to the table that you would think a really good player at that position brings.”

There are a number of Celtics who will learn that first-hand tonight for the very first time in the NBA. The challenge will first be presented to Al Horford, and then to the likes of Aron Baynes and potentially Robert Williams.

It’s time for the C’s to see what this year’s No. 1 overall pick truly brings to the table.

- Marc D'Amico