Golden State Warriors

Will Warriors F Eric Paschall make an impact as the season closes?

While the Golden State Warriors are on a roll as the season winds down, coach Steve Kerr is sure to need as much help from his roster as he can find to close strongly.

Will Kerr ever turn to forward Eric Paschall, the Warriors’ All-Rookie performer from just a season ago? Paschall is due to return from a hip injury soon, but even when he was healthy, Paschall had fallen out of Kerr’s rotation.

It’s a curious situation for a player that seemed like a sure-fire fit for the Warriors as they build toward another playoff run. Here’s some insight from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau to break it all down.

Since being named to the NBA’s All-Rookie first team in September, Paschall has been at his best as a small-ball center, an ultra-specific job that can only be utilized in certain lineups. The Warriors need him to be more reliable at small forward and power forward. To do that, Paschall must improve his help-side defense and learn to score in the flow of the offense.

Connor Letourneau/San Francisco Chronicle

Paschall is a beast inside in that small-ball center roll, so it’s frustrating that Kerr can’t find time to let his young big man roam the middle. But as Letourneau stated, it’s such a specific role, and Kerr already has forward Draymond Green.

I don’t see Paschall improving his defense as Kerr would like him to, so I think Paschall’s role should be similar to that of Marreese Speights, the Warriors’ instant front-court offense from the bench during their championship run. Even 10 minutes from Paschall can help Golden State win if they are in the need of some points. How’s that for a specific role?

We’ll see what Kerr opts to do. But Paschall is too talented to not have a say. Golden State needs to figure out what to do with their All Rookie player, and the sooner the better.

(Photo credit Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

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