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Having Luxury of “Point God” Chris Paul as “Back-Up” Steve Kerr Addresses Warriors’ Depth

Published 10/30/2023, 11:51 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Stepping into his 19th season, Chris Paul played off the bench for the first-time. While having a superstar point guard Stephen Curry to lead the pack in the offence, head coach Steve Kerr has no other option, other than making CP3 come off the bench. The ‘Point God’, as famously called by his fans, Paul adds a lot of value to the side, and Kerr rightly addressed it after the dominating win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Owing to Draymond Green’s minor ankle injury, he couldn’t take part in the Warriors initial two games.

Eventually, after his return to the game against the Houston Rockets, CP3 played his first-ever game off the bench in 19 years. Moreover, the drastic change continued in the Monday night game as well. While some may find it odd to see Paul playing in the second unit, Steve Kerr has his reasons for it. Let’s find it out in his own words.

Steve Kerr opens up on Chris Paul’s new role

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The Golden State Warriors registered a dominating 102-130 victory over the Pelicans, Curry leading the pack with 42 points. Whereas, Paul, who played 25 minutes off the bench, scored 13 points with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. The veteran point guard played the leader of the second unit, consisting of Gary Payton II, Dario Saric, Brandin Podziemski.

USA Today via Reuters

Even though Curry overshadowed his teammates with a 15-22 FG, the supporting cast had a huge hand in keeping the pressure on the Pelicans during the absence of Curry.

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Importantly, players off the bench dropped 52 points, which is more than the points scored by the starting line-up barring Steph. This stat proves that the Warriors have a deep roster under the leadership of CP3.

During the post-game press conference, Kerr opened up on Paul’s impact on the Warriors’ depth. He said, “It’s incredible to bring Chris Paul off the bench as your back-up point guard,” with a smirk on his face. He further added, “He is a Hall of Famer… It changes everything, when you can start a game off with Steph Curry and then bring Chris with great second unit.”

Importantly, he addressed how Paul’s partnership with Payton II in the second unit keeps the pressure on the opponents.

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It’s not just Kerr who addressed the leadership of CP3, but also Curry. He recently opened up Paul’s influence on the youngsters.

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Steph talks about CP3’s leadership

Curry recently spoke about Chris Paul’s influence on Jonathan Kuminga ahead of the regular season, as reported by Sports Illustrated. He added, “Obviously a great leader in terms of his communication… He’s going to get on you, he’s going to over-communicate, and we need that.” 

While Steph placed his faith in Paul, will the team continue to dominate the league? Let’s find out in the coming games.

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What do you make of Steve Kerr’s decision to make CP3 the leader of second unit? Was he fair? Let us know in the comments.

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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:

Aayush Kapoor