Although the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, there were a couple of bright spots.
One of them was the return of Juan Toscano-Anderson, who had been out with an ankle sprain. Toscano-Anderson played 13 minutes off the bench and despite going scoreless, he contributed seven rebounds and three assists to give the team a boost in the fourth quarter.
The forward admitted that he wasn’t sure how much playing time he would get but still tried to focus on the things he could control, via NBA.com:
“Just focus on the things that I can control. Obviously it’s my first game back, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs to start this season. I wasn’t coming in expecting to have an immediate rhythm for the game. The only thing I can control is my attitude and my effort and so everything else will take care of itself moving forward. And I just wanted to exert everything. I didn’t know how much I was going to play. I wasn’t worried about that, whether it was 30 seconds or three minutes, I was gonna give everything I had for my team. I could tell that’s what we were lacking a little bit of at certain moments of the game, so I just wanted to come in and be a value to my team.”
Toscano-Anderson indeed gave the Lakers a much-needed boost down the stretch, and he emphasized his confidence in being a solid all-around defender that head coach Darvin Ham can use in any lineup:
“I don’t really know how to answer that question. I think we’re figuring certain lineups out, but one thing that I hang my hat on and I’ll be confident saying is I’m a versatile defender. So if he feels comfortable putting me out there whether we go small or whether we go big I want him to know that he can trust me to guard the ball and be able to guard multiple positions. Pretty much every position on the floor because I can do that. I hope tonight that I showed that and I’m just trying to take steps moving forward, build day by day. I’m not gonna get ahead of myself. I’m just gonna continue to focus on what I can control. I can’t control if the ball’s gonna go in for me or not, but I can control how hard I play. My attention to detail. Unfortunately, I made a big mistake at the end of the game, and so those are the little things I can control. I want to remove those types of mistakes to continue building and moving forward and getting better everyday. So therefore, that my coach and my teammates do trust me to be in the game in those types of situations.”
Without Anthony Davis available, the Lakers need more capable defenders on the floor and that seems to be a role perfect for Toscano-Anderson. It’s only one piece to the puzzle when it comes to fixing the Lakers’ woes, but hopefully Toscano-Anderson can be a positive player for them moving forward.
LeBron James laments turnovers in loss to Heat
Turnovers were a large reason why the Lakers lost to the Heat, committing 26 of them in total. That many mistakes would sink any team, and James bluntly said that was the primary factor in their poor performance.
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