When Eric Paschal received the biggest honor of his NBA career to date, the Warriors striker was playing video games.
Paschal learned in September that he had worked on NBA’s All-Rookie First Team while participating in the Madden NFL Championship.
“I was on Zoom for Madden, and I think I just got a notification on my phone,” Baschel recalls in a video conference call with reporters Friday.
“And then I got a whole bunch of messages.”
Bashal called his father, Juan, then he heard his good friend Donovan Mitchell “yell on the phone and say congratulations” when he called the Utah Jazz star again. distance Madden Championship.
“It was pretty much that,” said Bashal. “Then I continued my day and finished playing video games for the day.”
This is not much different from the number of 24-year-olds who spent time in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic is gripping the United States more aggressively than it was when Paschall’s junior season actually ended in March after the 2019 NBA was suspended- 20 Ordinary Chapter. Paschall and the Warriors did not participate in the Orlando Bubble League this summer and fall, leaving him with nearly nine months between their last match on March 10 and the start of training camp this week.
The 2019 Second Round Pick believes he used it wisely, hoping to capitalize on the junior season.
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Paschall averaged 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game during his first season in the NBA. While Steve Curry missed all but five of a broken left hand and Clay Thompson sat throughout the campaign to rehabilitate the shattered AFC Champions League, Paschal was practically the Warriors’ one constant bright spot.
The Villanova producer said coach Steve Kerr had given him “a lot of confidence” in adapting to the NBA, and Paschal worked to focus on Kerr’s points from match to game. Bachal Bakir is confident of his development, especially since the Warriors boast a much better roster than they were at the end of last season.
“Whatever the coach wants me to play,” said Paschal, when asked what role he envisions this season. “Come off the bench, start, whatever he plans, he’s in his hands. I just try to be in shape and keep trying to get better every day.”
With Curry’s comeback, Andrew Wiggins’ continued merger into the fold and the off-season additions of Kelly Uber Jr and overall # 2 James Wiseman, Paschal could be an offensive focal point in his second season in the NBA. This shouldn’t require a lot of adjustment, because Paschall wasn’t a high-use novice – his usage rate of 21.5% barely reached the top 25 among first-year professionals – and he cited his experience playing a variety of roles in his four years at Villanova as a reason he could adapt This season.
Paschal said he feels “very good” at taking three-pointers after working out of season to try to jump less and get more arc in his shots. If Paschal is to succeed in comparing Kerr to BJ Tucker, he will need to dispose of a much higher percentage of his attempts from outside the arc compared to the 28.7 per cent he achieved last season.
But perhaps most importantly, Paschal said he had a greater understanding of the severity of the NBA season. He has never played more than 38 matches in a season at Villanova, and knowing how to navigate a longer season should come in handy, especially during an intense schedule where the Warriors are scheduled to play three or four matches a week between the end of December and the beginning of March.
“For me personally, there are a lot of ups and downs during the year,” said Paschal of his biggest lesson in the junior year. “Your body won’t always feel its best, but just learn to take care of it and mentally take care of yourself the next day.”
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Paschal had plenty of time to reflect and work on improving on an extraordinary rookie season. With the regular season still a little over two weeks away, he said he was eager to get back on the field.
Video games, which are an off-season staple, can keep him interested for a long time.
“I was ready to go,” said Bashal. “I’m tired of sitting at home and playing video games to pass the time. Now I’m ready for the season, and I can’t wait to start.”
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