Game 2 MVP with his double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds, Kevon Looney stays the course. The former UCLA continued very well last night in the Californian box.
With 9 points on 3/4 shooting, plus 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 interception, the industrious Golden State center once again did his job brilliantly and the Dubs took complete control of the series.
Very little used in the first round against Denver, with only 13 minutes on average, the “Fast Five” of the Warriors doing a lot of damage to the Nuggets, began to gain game time from the end of the second round against Memphis, with 35 specific. minutes (and 22 rebounds) in Game 6 to seal the deal against the Grizzlies.
But we have to go back a little further to understand Kevon Looney’s place of choice in recent Warriors history.
The click during the 2018 conference final
Everything changed in the 2018 Conference Finals for Kevon Looney. Buried at the bottom of the bench after two anonymous first seasons, because weighed down by two hip operations, he was only entitled to crumbs of crumbs behind JaVale McGee, but also Zaza Pachulia or even Damian Jones and Jordan Bell.
However, it was the boss’s surprise to allow the Golden State defense to submit the Harden-Paul duo.
“I’m more or less the same player”explains Kevon Looney in The Athletic. “I have the same approach. I just have a little more experience. It was the first time she played on such a stage. [en 2018]. I didn’t even know if my teammates really believed in me. But they put me on the field and I did pretty well. These experiences have prepared me for the challenges I face today. I feel much more confident defending as a winger. »
Heading straight out of the gate after two seasons averaging 2 points and just 58 appearances with the Warriors, Kevon Looney had even seen his franchise decline to take the option in the fourth year of his rookie year. A real disappointment…
“We hadn’t seen his quality because he just wasn’t on the pitch,” retorts Steve Kerr before specifying. “He had had two hip surgeries and we didn’t know what we had with him. And then his third year was great and we were like, ‘Oh, oh, maybe we’re going to lose this player.’ [à l’intersaison]. »
It’s not about being the weak link
With 4 points and 4 rebounds in 18 minutes on average in the 2018 playoffs, which concluded with the third title in four years for the Bay dynasty, Kevon Looney has definitely managed to make a place for himself. That of the worker center who can “turn on” the opposite sides in a League where the triple has become the number 1 weapon (the team knows something about him), who still contributes wonderfully in these 2022 playoffs.
“Luka, Brunson and Dinwiddie are all different, the three of them play differently separately. It’s really not a gift to defend in all three. I think I did a good job overall. But it’s going to be a long streak, so I have to stay focused because they’re going to keep attacking. (…) Now I am a little more intelligent and a little more physical. I think I’m better equipped to defend myself against these guys. »
A perfectionist, Kevon Looney watches a lot of videos. And, between Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, even Klay Thompson, he has someone to talk to about the particular tendencies of each of his opponents.
” Took [ces défis défensifs] very from heart Many great attacking players wanted to attack me and these challenges must be met. I don’t want to be seen as the weak link in the defense. We play against very high level players so sometimes they manage to score, but we have to make it difficult for them. I am well surrounded and well advised and with Draymond behind me to train me, I want to keep doing my job to the best of my ability and not get pushed around! »
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