Chris Paul Provides Stability and Key Contributions off the Bench for Warriors
In a surprising twist, Chris Paul, who had started all 1,365 games of his NBA career prior to Sunday, came off the bench for the Golden State Warriors against the Houston Rockets. However, Paul’s presence proved to be crucial as the Warriors secured a 106-95 victory.
During his time on the court, Paul recorded eight points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Perhaps the most impressive statistic was his ability to limit turnovers, committing only one throughout the game. This addresses a longstanding issue for the Warriors, as they have often struggled with ball retention and performing well without Stephen Curry on the court. Paul effectively tackles both of these problems.
Curry left the game for the first time at the 4:10 mark of the first quarter when the Warriors were trailing by three. When he returned at the 7:42 mark of the second quarter, the Warriors had surged ahead, leading by 13. This demonstrates that the Warriors not only survived without Curry but actually outscored the Rockets by 16 points during the eight and a half minutes he was off the floor. Paul played a pivotal role during this stretch.
Throughout the game, the Warriors had a team-high 22-point advantage during Paul’s minutes on the court. This was a familiar story from their previous game against the Kings, where they also outscored their opponents by 22 points during Paul’s playing time. In that game, Paul contributed 10 points and 12 assists, displaying his exceptional assist-to-turnover ratio.
What Paul brings to the Warriors is stability, a quality that is difficult to quantify but undoubtedly valuable. Although his ability to create shots for himself and others may be diminished, and his signature mid-range shot has lacked its usual power, his role as an offensive organizer is crucial. He keeps the game simple, passing the ball to the right places at the right times, and most importantly, not turning it over to the opposing team.
While Paul has yet to make a three-point shot this season, his mid-range shots down the stretch on Sunday proved significant. If he can continue to combine his passing and ball protection with an improved shooting performance, his value to the team will only increase.
Regardless, Paul’s impact on the Warriors has already been substantial, providing stability and making major contributions off the bench.