Raptors forward Alan Anderson has played everywhere from Israel to Italy over the years but the journeyman forward may have finally found a home with the Toronto Raptors.
The gritty forward who was picked up from the NBA Developmental League last March appears to be the perfect match for Raptors coach Dwance Casey’s system.
“He thrives off of defence first. If you play defence, you can play for him,” Anderson said of his coach. “He’s not real picky on shot selection as long as you are ready to shoot and confident in shooting it. If you play defence first, that is how I grew up, playing defence so it fits me well.”
The Raptors have added several new faces since last season that play a similar position to Anderson including Landry Fields and rookie Terrence Ross. With all of the added competition, Anderson knows that his minutes could be limited going into the season but he will be ready when his coach calls his number.
“I just know I will be a role player,” Anderson said. “I am not sure when my name will be called but I will be ready. I can only control what I can control as long as I am ready.”
Listen now:Alan Anderson with Eric Smith
Anderson appears to have edged out Linas Kleiza for the role of back-up small forward in Toronto and if Fields struggles early, he may see increased minutes this season. Don’t count anything out as the Raptors are in it to win it this season and if Casey decides Anderson’s toughness will help the team win games, he will see some extra court time.
In case you missed it in Anderson’s brief cameo with the team at the end of last season, he can play both of the wing spots and his strength is his defence but he says he brings more to the table than that.
“I am an all-around player, not just a jumpshooter and a defender,” he explained. “I can do a little bit of everything but whatever they ask me to do, I am going to do. Just try to show everything, knock down open shots and guard whoever.”