Warriors

Why Zach Lowe included Warriors' Eric Paschall on All-Rookie First Team

Warriors

When the Warriors selected Eric Paschall with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, it's very safe to assume they didn't anticipate the Villanova product would make one of the two All-Rookie teams.

Not only is he a lock for the distinction, but it's possible he ends up on the First Team.

We won't find out the final voting results until some point during the playoffs. But with all ballots due Tuesday, various members of the media have started to reveal their picks.

And ESPN's Zach Lowe -- one of the most respected voices in NBA circles -- included Paschall in his top five.

"The first four are no-brainers ... the final first-team spot came down to (PJ) Washington, Paschall, (Terence) Davis, and Tyler Herro," Lowe writes. "Paschall bonked 3s, but hit 55 percent on 2s. He showed more ability than Washington to create for himself and others with a bruising off-the-bounce game.

"Paschall used that skill a little selfishly early, but found a better balance. He will grow into a stout defender with nimble feet."

Paschall shot below 29 percent from 3-point territory, and has made it crystal clear that becoming a consistent threat from beyond the arc is a top priority moving forward.

 

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As for his "bruising off-the-bounce game," he showcased that ability during Golden State's sixth game of the season vs. the Charlotte Hornets (and throughout the whole season) when he matched up against fellow rookie Washington.

A couple days later, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic revealed a very interesting anecdote:

In a team session before the Warriors played Charlotte last week, coach Steve Kerr went around the room asking his players if they knew any of the Hornets’ youngsters. When he got to PJ Washington, the rookie forward Charlotte selected with the No. 12 overall pick, Eric Paschall had some insight.

“Steve was like, ‘Anybody know this guy?'” Draymond Green said Monday night, recalling the meeting. “(Paschall) was like, ‘Hell yeah, I know something about him. He ducked me all pre-draft. But I’m on his a-- tonight.’ And he went out there and did it. And I loved it.”

Paschall didn't routinely create for his teammates the first several months of the season, averaging just 1.7 assists through Golden State's game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 27.

But the game really slowed down for the 23-year-old, and he averaged 6.0 assists over the Warriors' final six games.

If Paschall ultimately lands on the All-Rookie Second Team, it won't change the fact he had a terrific first year in the NBA. The guy led Team USA in scoring (23 points) in the Rising Stars game at NBA All-Star Weekend, and averaged 19.7 points over the Dubs' last seven contests before the season was suspended.

[RELATED: Why Paschall confident he'll make impact despite lesser role]

He exceeded all expectations.

"Eric Paschall looks like a guy -- because of his physical strength, his power, his confidence obviously -- we could throw into a playoff game right now and he would hold his own," coach Steve Kerr told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami in mid-March. "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. 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."

Now that's some serious praise.

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