Chris Paul had a well-rounded Warriors preseason debut, dropping six points, five assists and four rebounds over 13 minutes in a 125-108 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night at Chase Center.
Paul, a longtime rival, fit in seamlessly with Golden State’s small-ball lineup featuring Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and his performance earned him much praise from coach Steve Kerr.
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“Yeah, Chris is amazing,” Kerr told reporters after the win. “He keeps the game so easy. He’s such a great passer. There’s a pace to the game that is fun to watch as a coach, where you just kind of know he’s going to be making the right play over and over.”
Kerr was pleased with Paul in his short minutes, as the veteran guard was plus-6 and found easy assists for his new star teammates.
Entering his 19th NBA season, Paul is known for making the game easier for his teammates, often acting as another coach on the floor. He has averaged 9.5 assists throughout his career, so it’s no surprise many players have their most productive seasons playing besides CP3.
Golden State Warriors
Kerr noted how the Warriors are excited about having Paul’s game-management skills and experience after watching him read scenarios as an opponent for so long.
“He understands when we need to pull it back and get into an action or play faster because he understands the rhythm of the game,” Kerr told reporters. “So, Chris is amazing. Really fun to have him on our side, finally.”
Kerr has admired Paul’s talents from afar for over a decade as a coach and broadcaster, but he never has had the chance to share a playbook with the future Hall-of-Famer until now.
Although the Warriors are Paul’s sixth team, Kerr hasn’t indicated any worry about the veteran finding his place with Golden State, as the guard brings an abundance of experience.
The Warriors have four more preseason matchups to get Paul accustomed to their style of play, as they face the Lakers again on Friday at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Expect Kerr to happily test out more sets and lineups with Paul before the regular season begins on Oct. 24 against the Phoenix Suns at the Chase Center.