3 Things the Golden State Warriors Must Do After the All-Star Break

Golden State Warriors v Indiana Pacers
Golden State Warriors v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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1. Limit Chris Paul's minutes upon return

The Warriors practically have a full bill of health outside veteran point-guard Chris Paul, with the 38-year-old still sidelined by a fractured hand that required extensive surgery after a January 5 meeting with the Detroit Pistons.

While Paul remains out for Thursday's matchup with the Lakers, ESPN's Kendra Andrews reported on Wednesday that the 12-time All-Star is back in full practice with a return now appearing imminent.

Paul's impending return brings a multitude of questions that could come to define the Warriors' back half of the season. Despite leading the team in plus-minus for the majority of the season, Golden State have now reached their best stretch without Paul's on-court presence. So, how much does he play upon return? How will that impact the minutes of rookie Brandin Podziemski who has risen to a starter in his absence? Will Paul be part of closing lineups?

The Warriors will be better placed limiting Paul's playing time even once he's off any kind of minutes restriction. He will automatically play in the non-Curry minutes, which could be anywhere between 10-20 minutes depending on the opponent and flow of the game.

Beyond that the 19-year veteran shouldn't be playing more than 20 minutes, and certainly nowhere near the 27.6 he averaged prior to injury. There will be times he should be in closing lineups -- Golden State certainly could have done with his calming presence in their two fourth-quarter meltdowns prior to the All-Star break -- but otherwise he should still be viewed as a seventh/eighth man from here onwards.

Just because there's a general consensus among fans that Paul's minutes should be limited, doesn't mean Kerr is going to heed that advice. The trust factor between the pair is huge, and you just know that Kerr is going to want Paul on the floor for any big moment that arises over the second half of the season.