3. Pick-and-roll possessions
When the Warriors traded for Chris Paul in June, the primary question mark was how the veteran point-guard and the franchise would mesh their contrasting offensive styles. Golden State’s style prioritized ball and player movement, while Paul has perfected the pick-and-roll in his more methodical approach.
Paul did a nice job to start the season in the starting lineup, but as a sixth man he’s now getting more opportunity to pick apart opposing defenses the way he knows how. The Warriors are currently ranked 13th in pick-and-roll possessions, up from 28th last season.
Fans have often clamoured for more traditional pick-and-roll offense, particularly given their points per possession have often been good with Stephen Curry at the controls. The two-time MVP has actually run more PnR possessions than Paul, and is scoring a highly effective 1.06 points.
Paul’s PnR possessions have slashed from 8.1 per game to 5.5, though expect that to rise as he now takes a full-time sixth-man role. The 38-year-old’s mid-range mastery began to come to the fore against the Pelicans on Monday, though he’s still shooting less than 40% on pull up jumpshots.
Paul’s chemistry with Dario Saric has been on display, even if the latter’s shooting and finishing around the rim could be improved. Five of Saric’s eight made field-goals have been assisted by Paul, with the pair’s two-man game sure to grow in potency as the season progresses.
Overall, Paul’s influence on the offense has been a positive one with plenty of room left for improvement. The 12-time All-Star’s impact has certainly been felt, without Paul having hijacked the offense like some may have feared.