Not everything has gone as expected, but the Warriors are finding their way during this early portion of the NBA season.
Just on Sunday, for instance, Golden State beat the Raptors despite a historically bad shooting night from Stephen Curry, who missed an incredible 14 shots in a row. Supporting players stepped up, notably Draymond Green, Damion Lee, Andrew Wiggins and bench player Eric Paschall.
Paschall has looked fantastic as a reserve after starting a handful of early games. He had 15 points in 19 minutes against the Raptors, and his bench production stacks up well with the rest of the NBA, according to Warriors Reddit.
Well, if you lose your starting spot, that’s certainly the way to react. He’s put himself in the early running for Sixth Man of the Year.
After having a lot of freedom to score on a bad Warriors team a year ago, it’s taken Paschall a bit of time to adjust to the new roster and raised expectations. He had to find a role fast to earn playing time once he lost his starting spot upon the return of Green. He’s done so, and the Warriors are benefiting from his instant offense and effort on defense as an undersized big.
Paschall was a great find for Golden State in the second round of the draft, and he’s a vital piece of the team, especially while he’s on his inexpensive rookie contract. Every playoff team has high-value role players, and Paschall is fitting the bill nicely thus far. Maybe if he keeps it up, he could earn recognition as this year’s best off the bench in the NBA.