TJ Warren becoming a NBA star on both sides of the ball

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TJ Warren, one of the best scorers NC State has ever seen, is showing that his skills are certainly translating to the next level. At only 23 years of age, Warren is averaging 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals per game in his 3rd NBA season. He is becoming the go-to to guy for the Suns and while everyone knew he’d be a scorer in the NBA, not many people thought he would be a dominant defender.

Just yesterday, AZCentral ran an article about Warren’s improvement on the defensive end. His 2.1 steals per game is 7th best in the NBA. He described his philosophy in the piece…

“It’s just being out there and experiencing it and knowing what guys want to do,” Warren said. “Just pressure them and get in their space. Just try to make them feel uncomfortable. I feel like I’m learning every time I’m out there playing a lot of minutes.”

His coaches also love what they are seeing. Suns’ coach Earl Watson called TJ “one of the best in the NBA at guarding his position” and noted that they think he’s just starting to learn and will likely get even better.

This type of talk about his defense is somewhat surprising, seeing as Warren was always more known for his scoring. That part of his game is still there, but maybe starting to be taken for granted.

Now in just his 3rd NBA season, TJ has upped the ante. He’s reconstructed his body. Shedding his extra weight and trading it in for a thinner, mort athletic build. That alone has turned the midrange jump shooter into a full on scoring machine. He is attacking the rim more aggressively and finishing, at times, over top of his opponents.

If you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to start. For all of the State fans who wondered when NC State would put superstar into the NBA, they just have. Warren is emerging as a top-tier scorer and he’s just getting started.

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4 months 9 days ago

Loved watching him play this season but lately his game’s been dropping off. I think maybe the Suns are playing him too many minutes and running too many ISO plays. On top of that, he’s been playing harder on defense and it seems to be taking a toll on his hustle and scoring.

He just needs to get his 2nd wind.

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