Suns’ Deandre Ayton, Igor Kokoskov at a loss for words after embarrassing 1st quarter vs. Kings
The Phoenix Suns faced the crude reality of playing without their two top scorers with Devin Booker and T.J. Warren out of the lineup, picking up a sixth straight loss against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday after being down 36-9 in the first quarter. Head coach Igor Kokoskov and rookie center Deandre Ayton were puzzled at being down so much so early against an up-and-coming squad like the Kings.
“I cant remember, even if I’m trying hard to remember, at any level that I coached and played that I lost the first quarter by 30,” said Kokoskov, according to Gina Mizell of The Athletic. “(We were) completely unprepared mentally.”
Ayton, who had a 10-point, nine-rebound effort in 21 minutes of play, was at a loss for words, echoing his coach’s sentiments and claiming he had never been in such situation or had any idea why the Suns were down so quickly.
The Suns’ top overall pick was outshined by backup Richaun Holmes, who while posting a similar stat line in 22 minutes (10 points, 10 rebounds, three assists), showed a lot more promise, fighting hard on the glass for extra possessions and ensnaring six offensive rebounds in his short stint off the bench.
Holmes is getting more and more minutes throughout the season, as he brings the intangibles Ayton hasn’t so far in his young career. Unlike Ayton, Holmes blocks shots or alters them with frequency, making him a steadier option at the center spot, despite Ayton’s natural scoring prowess.