Juan Toscano-Anderson: “I Am Always Prepared”
Oakland Native Making Most of Sudden Abundance of Playing Time, Receiving Praise from Coaches, Teammates
On Feb. 2, the Warriors suffered another loss to injury as Kevon Looney sprained his ankle. Already thin in the frontcourt with James Wiseman (sprained left wrist) Marquese Chriss (broken leg), Alen Smailagic (knee surgery recovery, G League assignment), the Dubs leaned on Juan Toscano-Anderson to join Draymond Green and Eric Paschall in getting some serious minutes at the four and five positions.
He had played just one game since Jan. 3 before being thrusted into the early February matchup against the Boston Celtics, but Toscano-Anderson came out and dropped 16 points in 23 minutes of action.
Following the game, Head Coach Steve Kerr had nothing but rave reviews about the Oakland-born forward who is on a two-way contract with the Warriors, saying: “What a skill to be able to not even be active for 10 days or so and come in and prepare day-after-day for his chance and his chance comes and he comes out and kills it.”
“That’s who Juan is and that’s why we love him,” exclaimed Kerr.
Kerr certainly felt strongly enough of Toscano-Anderson’s abilities because following the injury to Looney, Toscano-Anderson found himself in the starting lineup the following game two nights later against the Dallas Mavericks. And again, and again.
Toscano-Anderson has now started 10 straight games for the Warriors, playing just over 26 minutes per contest through that span. He has averaged an admirable 7.7 points while hitting 36.8 percent of his three-point attempts, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.6 blocks in those starts.
In back-back-games against the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs, the forward notched career highs in rebounds with 10 on Feb. 6, then beating that personal best with 11 boards on Feb. 8. Then in Wednesday’s overtime thriller against the Miami Heat, Toscano-Anderson dished out a career-high six assists.
His numbers may not match those of Stephen Curry, but even the now seven-time All-Star praises the intangibles that Toscano-Anderson brings while on the court. “He’s a smart basketball player and he’s reliable in that sense,” said Curry on Feb. 2.
“He hasn’t taken his foot off the gas pedal in terms of when his minutes are called," continued Curry, “or when he’s getting DNPs or not, he always has the same positive attitude. That says a lot about his upbringing and what makes him tick.
When asked after the Feb. 2 game about how he could not be in a NBA for so long but come out and perform when needed, Toscano-Anderson simply said “I am always prepared.”
“My goal is to earn the trust of Steve (Kerr) and the rest of the coaching staff,” the second-year Warrior continued. “Wherever he puts me in to plug a hole that’s where I am going to try to be effective. Whether that is initiating the offense, defending the point guard, playing the five, it is basketball and I just want to be effective wherever he puts me.”
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