Warriors

Kerr needs Paschall to be better in one area for Warriors

Warriors

Eric Paschall had a fantastic inaugural season in the NBA, which resulted in him taking home First-Team All-Rookie honors.

The No. 41 overall pick in the 2019 draft averaged 19.7 points, 5.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds over the Warriors' final seven games, while shooting 55 percent overall and 35 percent from deep.

"We thought he could be pretty good because of his size and strength and athleticism. That's a pretty good combination right there," Steve Kerr told the media Friday afternoon. 

But Golden State's coach isn't as concerned with Paschall using those traits on the offensive end of the floor.

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"The biggest thing that I'm on him about every day is his defense," Kerr explained. "He's got to get better -- especially as a weakside defender. I think he's gotten better on the ball -- we're seeing him put pressure on people (and) use his length.

"But he's gotta get better off the ball and recognize patterns, our schemes, and be a better weakside help defender."

While Paschall almost assuredly will not become the "next Draymond Green" -- nor does he need to be -- he has all the physical tools and the basketball smarts to be a terrific defender.

"It's just hard because there's a lot of space," the 24-year-old said Friday. "Teams needs that weakside defender to be there because you can't camp in the lane. It's not college.

 

"So I'm just adjusting to that, watching film and just trying to be more active on the weak side."

RELATED: Why Warriors' Paschall values relationship with Draymond

With Draymond sidelined and most likely not suiting up for any of the Warriors' three preseason games, the expectation is that Paschall will start at power forward in his absence.

And even when Draymond returns, Paschall still should be a significant contributor off the bench.

"That's one of the ways that we kind of look at players and look at the league. When you watch the two best teams in the league play in a regular-season game or when you watch any playoff game -- can this player on our roster be out there? The answer with Eric for sure is a resounding yes," Kerr said back in mid-March. " And that's exciting.

"To be able to get a guy like that in the second round -- and watch him grow and develop -- that alone makes this a successful season."

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