Good Morning Dub Nation,
The moves from last week’s NBA Draft confirm that big changes are coming to the Golden State Warriors next season. The most significant among them is the addition of 12-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who joins Golden State after their blockbuster trade with the Washington Wizards. While the initial reaction raised questions regarding Paul’s fit on the team, head coach Steve Kerr explained how some added variety will be a good thing for their offense in Tim Kawakami’s latest article for The Athletic.
“One of the things Steph said … I thought his most revealing quote after the Lakers series was that we didn’t have enough variety in the ways that we could score,” Kerr said. “And everything was high pick-and-roll with Steph. That whole series. We just couldn’t create enough. When we’ve been our best, this team has had a lot of good passing, a lot of connectors, a lot of guys who understood how to play with Steph and free him up and use his gravity to slip for layups or create shots on the other side of the floor.
“We have to maintain that type of variety in our game somehow. We lost some of that this year. So hopefully we can regain some of that next year. … When we had to have a bucket, we’ve leaned on the high pick-and-roll, Steph/Draymond. It’s our best play. That’s our 98-mph fastball. But if you throw that down the middle enough, somebody’s hitting it into McCovey Cove. And that’s what happened against the Lakers, we just didn’t have the variety. We didn’t have the changeup, as Steph said.”
Paul made a hall-of-fame career out of his ball-dominant style, however, it is still a big contrast to Steph Curry and the Warriors’ free flowing offense. As Kerr explains, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as teams with a variety of options on offense have more success against postseason defensive schemes which are designed to take away what a team does best. Paul’s addition now gives the Warriors a more slowed-down and methodical attack that opposing defenses will have to guard after the chaos generated by the Warriors’ starters.
Having said that, Paul has experienced playing without the ball in his hands. Last season, he averaged a career-low usage of 19.2 playing alongside the All-NBA talents of Devin Booker and Kevin Durant on the Phoenix Suns. While the style of the Warriors’ core differs greatly from that of the Suns, the team’s high basketball IQ should allow them to adapt to each other’s games and become the 1-2 punch that Kerr’s offense desperately needed last season.
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- Warriors showing ‘strong confidence’ in re-signing Draymond Green
- Warriors’ Mike Dunleavy Jr. reflects on a ‘very successful’ draft day
- Warriors trade Patrick Baldwin Jr. to Wizards for Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis
- Warriors GM doesn’t expect first-round pick to play
- Warriors sign DePaul’s Javan Johnson
Other Warriors News:
- Kawakami: Steve Kerr on the Warriors’ moves — ‘We sensed we needed a shift’ (The Athletic)
- Warriors’ Podziemski confident he can be triple-double player (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Jackson-Davis’ chip on shoulder, promise endear him to Warriors (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Windhorst: Warriors ‘Absolutely Want’ Klay Thompson Long-Term amid Contract Rumors (Bleacher Report)
- Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr Interview! (The Pull Up! Basketball Podcast)
- NBA draft and free agency 2023: Latest deals, news, buzz and reports (ESPN)
- 2024 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: All eyes on USC and Bronny James next year (Yahoo Sports)
- A Reporter’s Tweet Moved NBA Draft Odds. He Also Works for a Gambling Company. (Wall Street Journal)
- 2023 NBA Summer League Schedules: Las Vegas, Sacramento and Salt Lake City (NBA)
- A new Spurs generation has arrived (SB Nation)