The Golden State Warriors made an emphatic statement against the Phoenix Suns Friday night, and what they had to say extended beyond a lopsided scoreboard.
The Dubs handled the Suns on December 3, winning by a score of 118-96 and ending Phoenix’s 18-game winning streak while avenging an 8-point defeat in the desert from three days before. There were a handful of standout performances on the night, including a 23-point showing from Steph Curry on 6-of-11 shooting from the 3-point line. But the play of the evening belonged to a member of the Warriors’ bench.
Dubs’ swingman Juan Toscano-Anderson made a poster out of former Golden State big man JaVale McGee with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter, putting an early and emphatic exclamation point on the Warriors’ dominant result Friday night. Bleacher Report posted video of the play online via Twitter.
“JUAN TOSCANO-ANDERSON DESTORYED JAVALE MCGEE 😱,” the tweet read.
Toscano-Anderson Puts up Monster Night Against Suns Friday
Toscano-Anderson showed out Friday night beyond his highlight reel play over McGee, the former Warriors’ big man.
JTA dropped a stat line of 17 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 1 block coming off the bench for Golden State. His performance was a testament to the attitude he has assumed this season with a Warriors team so deep that it has relegated Toscano-Anderson to far fewer minutes than he saw the season prior.
JTA was a major component of the Warriors’ late season push last year, assuming defensive roles against players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and bringing a defensive presence that proved crucial to a playoff run that fell an overtime period short of realization.
But this year has been a different story. New additions like Nemanja Bejelica and Otto Porter Jr., along with the ascension of Gary Payton II and the arrival of rookie standout Jonathan Kuminga, have siphoned off minutes that once belonged Toscano-Anderson.
However, his approach to his role change may come as something of a surprise to those who don’t understand the backstory of how the swingman earned his spot with the Warriors in the first place.
Toscano-Anderson is the Warriors’ Ultimate Team Player
JTA’s role has been diminished in several games this season due to the overwhelming depth of the Dubs’ roster. He spoke to that development during a media session after a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 18.
“I think the only difficult part is just having the desire to play. I love this game. This is my life right here. I put so much effort and, you know, emotion into this game, so I just always want to play,” Toscano-Anderson said. “But at the end of the day, I’m an adult and I’m understanding of what my job and what my role is on this team, and I’m accepting of it. I could sit here and pout about it, but what good is that gonna do?”
“It’s all about perspective man,” he continued. “I could be anywhere else in the world, I could be on any other team. I could be on a losing team. S***, I could be back in the G League. But I’m on the best team in the NBA, my hometown team, I get to play with Hall of Famers. Perspective, man.”
Toscano-Anderson’s attitude has served both his, and the Warriors’, interests well thus far this season. And the the Dubs’ swingman has proven that he is the kind of player that will be ready when called upon to help what is once again the Western Conference’s top team reach its goals during the 2021-22 season.