Kevon Looney played six minutes in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' season-opening loss to the Rockets.
"I trust Looney any point in the game," Steve Kerr told reporters after practice on Tuesday. "We've closed games with him."
After the opener, Looney was inactive the next three games and then did not see any action against the Raptors.
In Game No. 6 against the Wizards, he started the third quarter (because Draymond Green was ejected) and ended up scoring seven huge points in the fourth quarter.
He did not get into Game No. 7 and was inactive the next two contests.
But Looney has been a steady rotation player over the last five games -- averaging 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over 14.5 minutes.
"We got a lot of other guys I trust, too ... but the matchups seem to be going his way," Kerr said. "The league continues to trend towards a smaller game, a switching game. He's our best switching 5 -- he and Draymond, obviously, but I don't really consider Draymond a 5.
"Looney's a 5 and he's tremendous at switching and then staying in front of guys and using verticality and not fouling. That's a skill that is gonna help us."
Here a bunch of examples of what Kerr is talking about:
Kevon Looney keeps Chris Paul in front of him twice on the same possession pic.twitter.com/ZXkCTOocgC— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) October 18, 2017
James Harden wanted NO PART of Kevon Looney twice ... on the same possession. Cavs need to trade for Looney if they want to beat Warriors pic.twitter.com/kn0ENUxk87— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) October 18, 2017
More good defense from Kevon Looney with this steal (and if Klay makes this 3, the game may have been over) pic.twitter.com/euhekJievH— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) October 18, 2017
Kevon Looney causes Wall to miss a layup and then gets a monster and-1 dunk. Sources: Steve Kerr knows his team better than we do pic.twitter.com/7jZgjEAw4W— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) October 28, 2017
Kevon Looney gets switched onto Aaron Gordon, slides his feet and blocks the shot pic.twitter.com/KbBLq2q4eT— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 15, 2017
Looney gets switched onto Elfrid Payton, keeps him in front and contests the floater (Payton misses) pic.twitter.com/2EkVwSEWpC— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 15, 2017
Looney -- the 30th pick in the 2015 draft -- is going to be an unrestricted free agent next summer because the Warriors declined his fourth-year player option.
But he still could end up returning to Golden State on a minimum deal.
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller