With Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr playing just eight players down the stretch of the season, it’s important for every player to make an impact. After the Warriors’ big win against the formidable Suns on Tuesday, Kerr pointed out a clear difference-maker on defense: forward Juan Toscano-Anderson.
The Warriors defense, ranked in the top 10 in the NBA for most of the season and currently No. 5 in the league, was on full display in beating Phoenix 122-116. Superstar guard Stephen Curry hit just 7-of-22 shots, including 1-for-11 from 3-point range, and the team struggled mightily from distance for most of the game.
After the win, Kerr said Toscano-Anderson’s versatile skill has solidified the team’s ever-important defense, which figures to become more important as the play-in portion of the playoffs arrives.
Kerr layered on the complimentary comments there. Toscano-Anderson has elite energy, often pestering opponents for the length of the court. He guards every position, even taking the challenge of shadowing All-Star Suns guard Devin Booker and holding his own. And I’ll add another attribute: he’s fearless.
That’s another thing the Warriors needed. All season, it seemed as though they struggled to believe in themselves. But with Toscano-Anderson’s infectious energy and underdog story, he’s shown some of the more inexperienced players on the squad that it’s no time to be timid, especially when it comes to stopping the other team from scoring.
(Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)