Deandre Ayton Player Prop Prediction vs Dallas Mavericks
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Deandre Ayton Player Prop Prediction vs Dallas Mavericks

Justin Bales

The Phoenix Suns will host the Dallas Mavericks in a matchup at the Footprint Center tonight. Phoenix and Dallas have both performed extremely well early this season. The Suns enter this game with a 10-3 record, including 9 wins in their last 10 games. The Mavericks have found plenty of success, as well, recording a 9-4 record with a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. With that being said, Dallas will be without their star player, Luka Doncic.


Our Trends page shows Phoenix as a -8.5 home favorite tonight. The line’s shifted slightly in their favor early in the day, as well. The game total opened at 216 points, decreasing to 214 already. Overall, the Mavs enter this game with a 102.75 implied team total while the Suns’ team total sits at 111.25 points. 


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Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton dealt with quite a bit of offseason drama, and it seemingly ran over into the beginning of the season. Overall, he’s performed well without his contract extension. Through 7 games, he’s averaging 15.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 steals in 29.4 minutes per game. Ayton’s shooting 60.8% from the field and 62.5% from the line this season. With that being said, it hasn’t been smooth sailing the entire way, as there have been plenty of ups and downs in the limited games. 


In his first 3 games of the 2021 season, Ayton averaged 10.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 30.7 minutes per game. He’s caught fire over his last 4 games, though, averaging 19.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in only 29.3 minutes per game. Ayton posted 27+ points, rebounds, and assists in each of those 4 games, even though he saw 24 and 26 minutes in 2 of them. He’s taken on a larger offensive role, and he’s the clear top rebounder for Phoenix when he’s on the court. 


Shot Selection

One of the major keys to Ayton’s success is his shot selection. He’s averaging 13.3 shot attempts per game over his last 4 contests, taking 10+ shot attempts in each game. He shot 66% from the field in those games, including over 70% in 3 of the 4. 


On the season, Ayton’s leading the Suns with 6.1 field goal attempts per game in the restricted area. Overall, 54.5% of his shot attempts this season have come in the restricted area. He’s also shooting 74.4% on these attempts. 


Unsurprisingly, Ayton’s leading the NBA with 5.4 points per game as the pick and roll roll man. He’s averaging 3.3 shots per game in this situation, shooting 73.9% from the field. He also ranks 13th in the league with 2.4 points per game via putbacks. His field goal percentage drops to 57% on putbacks, although this is still well above the league average. 


The matchup against Dallas is a key factor tonight. They’ve struggled in the restricted area throughout the 2021 season. Although they don’t generally give up a plethora of shots in this area, they’re allowing their opponents to shoot for a 66.6% field goal percentage, which ranks in the bottom-7 of the NBA this season. 


Dallas’ struggled to keep centers out of the restricted area, and I don’t expect that to get better tonight. Bam Adebayo and Richaun Holmes both saw 10 shot attempts in the restricted area. Robert Williams and Nikola Jokic recorded 8 and 7.5, respectively, although Jokic saw limited minutes in 1 of his 2 matchups against Dallas. Ultimately, each of these 4, along with other centers, have found plenty of scoring success against the Mavs in 2021. 


Rebounding Opportunities

Ayton should find plenty of rebounding success in this game, as well. He’s averaging 11.4 rebounds per game on the season, and that increases to 14.0 per game over his last 4 contests. 


Ayton currently ranks in the top-10 of the NBA in rebound chances (18.4) per game. He’s only averaging 29.6 minutes per game, though, and he’s expected to play 30+ minutes tonight. In his last 4 games, Ayton’s averaging 21.3 rebound chances in only 29.2 minutes per game. 


He recently returned from injury, playing 32.9 minutes against the Minnesota Wolves. He saw 21 rebound chances, grabbing 12 rebounds overall. 


Unsurprisingly, opposing centers have seen plenty of rebound chances against Dallas throughout the season. Richaun Holmes, Christian Wood, Jonas Valanciunas, Nikola Jokic, and Precious Achiuwa all average more than 20 rebound chances per game against Dallas this season. Bam Adebayo, Jakob Poeltl, and Clint Capela all sit slightly below 20, as well. Each of these players averages double-digit rebounds against the Mavs in 2021. 



There was early concern with Ayton because of his contract situation and struggles to start the season. That’s seemingly behind him after finding success in somewhat of limited minutes over his last 4 games. 


He saw 33 minutes in his return from injury, and we can expect similar minutes tonight if this is a competitive game. Dallas’ featured one of the worst defenses in the NBA against opposing centers, and Ayton’s been a walking double-double. I expect him to get plenty of looks around the rim with double-digit rebounds. His total is set at a bit low for 30+ minutes, and we can take advantage of that tonight. 

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