The resurgent Golden State Warriors are racing through the NBA and almost everyone is enjoying the ride. But all the success seems to have left a player behind.
Dubs swingman Juan Toscano-Anderson was a big part of Golden State’s stretch run last season close to realization.
But this year is a different story. Newcomers like Nemanja Bejelica and Otto Porter Jr. as well as the appearance of Gary Payton II and the arrival of rookie Jonathan Kuminga have devoured minutes that once belonged to Toscano-Anderson. However, his attitude towards developments that rob him of ground time may come as a surprise to those who don’t understand how he got on the Warriors’ sidelines in the first place.
The Athletic’s Anthony Slater posted a video of an interview with Toscano-Anderson following Golden State’s win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Thursday the 18th for 16 minutes on the pitch.
“I think the only difficult thing is just wanting to play. I love this game. This is my life here. I put so much effort and emotion into this game, so I just want to keep playing, ”said Toscano-Anderson. “But in the end I have grown up and understand my job and my role in this team and accept it. I could sit here and pout, but what’s the point? “
“It’s all about the perspective person,” he continued. “I could be anywhere in the world, I could be on any other team. I could be on a losing team. S ***, I could be in the G League again. But I’m on the best team in the NBA, my home team, I play with the Hall of Famers. Perspective, man. “
Toscano-Anderson’s rise was similar to that of his teammate Payton, who for years worked mostly in smaller leagues while trying to penetrate the NBA.
He eventually did so two seasons ago, appearing in 13 games, and making six starts for the Warriors in a season where Klay Thompson missed every game due to a ruptured cruciate ligament and Steph Curry paused after just five fights with a broken hand.
Toscano-Anderson showed enough to stick with the Dubs as part of the follow-up campaign, which was very different. Golden State has been competitive all last season, with Curry running the show, and Toscano-Anderson playing a huge role in his team’s success. According to the Basketball Reference, he averaged 5.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 0.8 steals per game, often while pulling one of the toughest defensive matches opponents could offer.
The now 28-year-old played in 53 games and earned 16 starts last year, posting a decisive contribution of 20.9 minutes per competition. But this year those minutes have been nearly cut in half to 12.1 per game as the Warriors have one of the deepest roster in the NBA.
Game time is set to be even tougher next month with the expected return of Thompson and the center sophomore James Wiseman, both of whom will soon be earning starter-level minutes.
Toscano-Anderson has only achieved 20 minutes of ground time this season, played less than 10 minutes five times and registered a DNP (not played) in 15 games of the regular season according to the coach’s decision. But in his own words, the Warriors’ upstart is not deterred. And through his own actions, Toscano-Anderson has proven that he is ready when asked to.