Warriors Rumors: Chris Paul shines in Golden State debut
Chris Paul made his Warriors debut in Tuesday's loss to the Suns. While the final result went the wrong way, Paul proved instrumental to the Warriors' near-comeback. When Stephen Curry picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, Paul stayed on the floor longer than initially expected and positioned Golden State for a late push.
As Anthony Slater of The Athletic points out, the Warriors — who historically struggle in Curry-less minutes — were plus-5 in the 18 minutes Curry sat on Tuesday. Golden State was minus-9 in the minutes Curry played.
That is not an indictment on Curry, of course. Those numbers won't hold all season. But, it is a promising sign for the CP3 era. The Warriors started Paul next to Curry, but made sure to stagger the rotation to keep one point guard on the floor at all times. Whether he stays in the starting five or transitions to a sixth man role upon Draymond Green's eventual return, Paul will continue to spearhead the second unit.
As great as the Warriors have been, the team has never possessed a playmaker of Paul's caliber in the backcourt. An expert pick-and-roll manipulator who has made a career of passing teammates open, Paul figures to operate as Golden State's offensive quarterback. Not unlike Draymond, he's a vocal leader who will make sure everybody is on the same page.
Paul ended the game with 14 points, six rebounds, and nine assists in 34 minutes. He struggled from the field — 4-of-15, notably 0-of-6 from deep — but so often, Paul's impact will go beyond points and beyond the box score. He's going to be a positive influence on the Warriors after a year of rickety play from Jordan Poole.