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NBA FINALS: BUCKS VS. SUNS


July 19, 2021


DeAndre Ayton


Phoenix Suns

Practice Day


Q. Offensive rebounds has been one of the stories the last few games this series, the Bucksí ability to convert those. Looking at the film, what do you think has made the difference on the boards so far and what gives you the confidence that you can correct that?

DEANDRE AYTON: Just putting a body on somebody, everybody boxing out properly the right way and just competing at it.

Q. A couple players here have talked about embracing the situation, having your backs against the wall. What a do you think -- how do you think -- what do you think the approach has been from the team so far in the last couple days responding to Game 5? How do you feel you all are at mentally right now?

DEANDRE AYTON: I mean, our culture stays the same. We don't really, you know, be let down on losses. We stick to our script and we embrace each other's energy and we see the net moving and it's on to the next one.

Q. You've had to expend a lot of energy on both ends of the floor this series. How much gas do you feel like you have left in the tank and is it enough to help you get back for Game 7?

DEANDRE AYTON: I have a lot of gas. You know, at the end of the day, this is a high-intensity game and this is what I train and this is what the team trains for all season, you know, to play in games like this. It's just the mental stamina as a team of emphasizing togetherness that we have to focus on when we play, especially on the road.

Q. Going back to even the Bubble, this team has always found a way to lock in and play its best basketball when counted out. Just what about this locker room makes you guys so resilient and play so well with your backs against the wall?

DEANDRE AYTON: Coming into the next morning probably after a loss, the locker room, you probably wouldn't know that we just lost a game, a Game 5 at home. You know, just how we walk in and everybody's just so full of spirit and energy, it's insane. It's almost unreal because the coaches are the same way. You know, everybody just filled with energy and just on to the next right step.

Q. There's been a lot of talk from this team about the importance of fighting for 50/50 balls and hustle plays, but now heading into an elimination game, how much more emphasis is there on those 50/50 plays, playing with desperation and making sure you leave everything out on the floor?

DEANDRE AYTON: Itís literally everything left on the floor. It's at a high level where we have to compete for everything, every possession, it's extremely important. I think everybody on the team knows the task at hand and they know how important it is and they know how important this game is. I know everybody will bring their own.

Q. If there's one thing, what's the most critical area of improvement that you guys need to get better at to close out the next two games?

DEANDRE AYTON: Just competing at a high level for the long stretches of the game. We just can't compete for spurts or in quarters. We have to do that for all 48 minutes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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