Okay the headline is a little harsh, but it’s also true on many points. Hear us out.
Golden State Warriors’ season narrative has swiftly shifted from questions about Chris Paul’s integration into how his contributions have boosted the Golden State’s hot 6-2 start to the 2023-24 season. In large part, it’s thanks to Paul’s positive impact on the court. There’s a clear maturity to this season’s roster that was missing last year.
To put it simply, you know what you’re getting with Chris Paul and you didn’t know what you were getting last season with Jordan Poole. Even if you loved watching Poole play, you have to admit that he was unpredictable; it was like hitting on 15 in Live Dealer BlackJack that extra card might get you 21 exactly, but it just as likely to bust. What we mean is that the Warriors were often a hot mess when Poole wasn’t intentional with his playmaking.
Last year was horses–t. It was hard to come to work.”
Draymond didn’t mince words comparing last year’s chemistry to this year’s team pic.twitter.com/1uhIcWgig7
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 2, 2023
So this early season stands in stark contrast to last season’s chemistry struggles, Draymond Green highlighted the joy and camaraderie evident among the Warriors this year, emphasizing the stark difference from the previous “horseshit” season; going as far as saying it was “hard to come to work.”
Green’s sentiments were echoed by his teammate Stephen Curry, who acknowledged the positive change in team dynamics, stating, “You see the joy on guys’ faces when they come into the building.” This newfound team spirit, according to Green, has fostered a more enjoyable and collaborative atmosphere.
Chris Paul’s Basketball IQ is Evident
One stat really tells you how important CP3 has been for the Warriors: he is second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio with a a ridiculous 9.43 assists for every turnover (even more ridiculous is Mike Conley’s 30-1 ratio right now). Jordan Poole’s Assists per Turnover? 1.28 this season and 1.46 last season.
Paul’s influence extends beyond fostering camaraderie on the court; he has become a key mentor, especially for young talents like Jonathan Kuminga. Kuminga expressed admiration for Paul, emphasizing the guidance he provides on the court, stating, “Telling me where I need to be on the floor. Telling me places where I need to be to get my stuff going. Just small instructions, man. Small details.”
Analyzing Paul’s statistical contributions, he is averaging 8.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and an impressive 7.8 assists per game through eight games. His impact on the Warriors’ second unit has been particularly noteworthy, allowing Curry crucial rest periods while maintaining a positive point differential. Gary Payton II highlighted Paul’s role in reducing Curry’s workload, stating, “With Chris (Paul) here, that cuts half of what he’s gotta do.”
Curry himself acknowledged the subconscious energy boost derived from watching Paul orchestrate the game, emphasizing the enjoyment of witnessing good basketball from the bench. The Warriors’ early-season success is a testament to the effective collaboration between Paul and Curry, with Paul seamlessly controlling the second unit, providing valuable rest for Curry, and contributing significantly to the team’s overall positive play.
As the Warriors look ahead, the contrasting narratives of last season’s chemistry struggles and the current rejuvenated team spirit showcase the transformative impact of Chris Paul, whose decision-making, leadership, and mentorship are proving instrumental in the team’s promising start to the 2023-24 NBA season.