Essentially, Anthony Tolliver summed up his game on Wednesday night in the interview above after Wednesday morning's practice with the Golden State Warriors.
When asked what he's concentrating on, he said the following is what he can bring to the team immediately:
Defend as hard as I can and just bring a lot of energy and to rebound at a high rate. I know the shots are gonna fall once I get a little more comfortable and learn the system a little bit better.
In his game against the Nuggets, Tolliver finished with four points, three rebounds and a steal in just over 15 minutes of action while shooting 1-for-6 from the field.
Still, I didn't come away disappointed. There was no reason to be because he did what he said he was going to do. Tolliver is who we thought he was. That's why he got the NBA call-up. If you want to bury him (as some did here and here) for missing a 3-pointer from the corner with Carmelo Anthony charging toward him, do it, but the missed 3-pointer isn't telling the whole story of what he brings to the table.
What Tolliver did for the Warriors Wednesday night is bring a lot of energy, especially on the defensive end.
Since I know numbers are going to make my case, this is what I'm going to give you:
- Tolliver had a +/- of +10, the highest of any player in the game.
- While Tolliver was in the game, Denver's big men only scored three points. Total.
Nene had three of his 19 points while Tolliver was in the game.
Kenyon Martin didn't score any of his 11 points while Tolliver was in the game.
- Chris Andersen only had two points, true, but they weren't while Tolliver was in the game.
I don't know many players, D-League or not, that could've followed up a couple of clutch free-throws from "Mr. Big Shot" himself, Chauncey Billups, with a game-tying three, especially with one of the NBA's best players running straight at him with his hands in the air.
Tolliver couldn't, at least last night, and I accept that, because I also don't know many players that are going to do the dirty work on the defensive like he does, either.
The rest of Golden State's bench didn't fare all that terrible, either.
Chris Hunter, who was called-up from the Fort Wayne Mad Ant's before the season started after a stellar year in Fort Wayne last season, played about as good as I've seen in the few Warriors games I've watched him in.
Hunter finished with nine points, six boards and a block shot. I was actually rather impressed with his strong finishes at the basket because it was something I didn't really remember from last season. Two of them were easy dunks courtesy of Monta Ellis assists, but the other two were odd finger roll/hook shot combinations around the defense. They weren't pretty, but they were effective.
As far as Cartier Martin goes, they picked up his second 10-day on Tuesday, so he must be doing something right. In last night's game, though, he had five points, four fouls and two boards. Nothing impressive, but nothing that was particularly ineffective either - he just didn't fill up the box score.
He did, however, look quite awesome with his rec specs, headband, throwback jersey, arm band, random leg sleeve and everything else he had going on.