Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton came out early in Friday night’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans after playing just eight minutes.
Ayton suffered a sprained left ankle, and now the team has confirmed he will miss at least a week with the injury.
Phoenix is expected to host the Rockets (Sunday), Timberwolves (Tuesday) and Trail Blazers (Friday/Saturday) at home in the next seven days.
It’s a blow for Phoenix to miss Ayton, especially after he played well to open the season, doing his part in the Suns’ 4-1 start so far.
Bismack Biyombo, who played just seven total minutes heading into Friday, stepped up and delivered the win to the tune of 11 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Fellow backup center Jock Landale, who played the majority of minutes behind Ayton, managed to take a handful of hard fouls on the defensive side of the floor and also scored eight points. He finished with a +/- of +18 last night.
Coach Monty Williams is confident in his depth, offering this to say after the game:
“They just play with aggression. Sometimes you think aggression, you just put up punches, but I thought projection was on a high with Jock (Landale) and Biz (Bismack Biyombo). Defensively, we scratched at 50-50 balls.
“Torrey (Craig) is bouncing back. Landry (Shamet) fighting on screens, like that kind of stuff for this group can help them get over 50 points, which isn’t typical for this group, but I got them just said that tone of aggression that they set up, like it was a bar that we expected of them and they were in the gym after practice, before practice.
“Before and after practice was over, like going over a lot of stuff because we added guys to the rotation and so they had to do some extra work to get everybody up to speed, but I thought the intensity of this group was at a high level.