Now that he’s in the NBA, Eric Paschall is watching the playoffs with a more discerning eye, largely to see what he can apply to his own game.
Never has he had a clearer sense of the importance of spacing on offense, and the role he needs to play in bringing more of that to the Warriors.
It is, for Paschall, as simple as improving his 3-point shot.
“Definitely improve on my 3-point shot, for spacing” he said Tuesday, shortly after being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
This puts Paschall, who shot 28.7 percent from deep as a rookie, in line with the desires of the coaching staff. Coach Steve Kerr mentioned that element as Paschall’s path to more playing time in his second season, whenever it begins.
It’s significant that Paschall seems to fully understand his role on a team with such elite shooters as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Non-shooters in today’s NBA don’t get much run because their presence lends a lack of spacing that allows defenses to load up on the real threats.
“It’s very important, because spacing is such an important thing in the game now,” Paschall said. “If you don’t have spacing on that court, it messes up a lot. That's something I really want to make sure, especially with the Warriors -- the Warriors live off spacing -- so, that’s something very important.
“I definitely want to work on that, and make sure that I can go out there and not be someone they have to play off when we’re on the court.”
Paschall has seen the negative consequences of being a player whose shooting is not respected by opposing defenses. Utah was hurt by Denver’s disrespect of Royce O’Neale’s 3-ball. Philadelphia was hurt by Boston’s disrespect of Al Horford’s 3-ball.
Once cleared to use the Warriors’ facility, Paschall has devoted most of his time to ensure he’s not that guy.