Has Chris Paul Clawed His Way Back to Starting Lineup? Draymond Green Suspension Opens Up Major Opportunity For 38YO Star

Published 11/18/2023, 8:54 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The veteran point guard Chris Paul created massive waves in the NBA world when he came off the bench for the first time in his career. Fortunately, it worked well for the Golden State Warriors until they found themselves amid a 5-game losing streak. On top of that, Dubs center Draymond Green’s absence pushed CP3 into the starting lineup again. Will it continue further in the league despite the return of Steph and DrayMagic in the future?

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Head coach Steve Kerr cut out a perfect role for Paul ahead of the regular season. The Dubs went with their usual five in the starting lineup and made Paul, the leader of the second unit. Stepping into the court, mid-way through the first quarter, Paul was the oldest warrior. Importantly, he played the role of orchestrator and churned in crucial during non-Steph minutes. However, things didn’t go well for long as intended and the Dubs saw a shift in the plans.

Will Chris Paul get back in the starting lineup?

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Chris Paul eventually found himself in the starting lineup immediately after Stephen Curry‘s knee injury. While it merely looked like a replacement for an injured point guard, a recent alternation triggered a lot of questions. The Dubs’ star center Draymond Green attracted a 5-game suspension after his nasty act on the court. Even though the act deepened the problems for the Dubs, it did open up answers for the team. Moreover, to answer the question of whether CP3 clawed his way back to the starting line, the answer is almost yes.

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The Bay Area team opted for three guards comprising Steph, Klay Thompson, and Paul for the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. While the team lacked a center in the lineup, Kerr opted for a three guard situation, ringing a bell in the minds of the viewers.

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Notably, the 38-year-old guard pitched in 15 points in the previous game against OKC, which was higher than how much he contributed to the previous games. These instances trigger a question, whether Paul has a revamped role for the Dubs, after Green’s suspension.

Chris Paul vs Klay Thompson: Which Warriors Star Earns More in 2023–24 NBA Season?

Before this developing change in the Warriors’ attack, Paul had a slightly different role in the team. In his words, a ‘luxury’. Let’s dig deeper.

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CP3’s understanding of his role 

Ever since his debut in the Dubs’ jersey, Chris Paul has averaged 9.2 points, mostly coming off the bench. To get a clearer picture, there are several occasions where he dropped less than 5 points. When a reporter asked about the lack of points under his name, he gave an understanding of his role. He said, “The good thing about it is I know that’s not the normal. It’s crazy to think about I could score one point or two points, and we still win the game. It’s a nice luxury to have.” On the other hand, he churns out an average of 8 assists per game.

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Nevertheless, the new role could change the stats in the coming games. The veteran point guard might shoot a few more buckets than usual.

Do you think Draymond’s suspension will be a boon for the Point God? Or will he be pushed back to the bench when Green returns?

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Written by:

Shahul Hameed

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Shahul Hameed is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports, where he brings his passion for sports and entertainment journalism to life. With a Master's Degree in journalism from a reputed institute and years of experience in the industry, Shahul always strives to provide insightful and astute coverage of the NBA to the fans. Shahul's love for sports writing dates back to his college days.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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