Kerr sees Rockets’ Tucker as blueprint for Paschall originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Though NBA All-Rookie teams generally are reserved for high draft picks, it’s typical that one or two second-round choices do enough to demand the honor.
Eric Paschall is such a rookie, and it’s why he was among the five players named to the All-Rookie first team announced Tuesday.
It’s also why Warriors coach Steve Kerr is raising expectations for the 6-foot-6, 250-pound forward.
“He had a great rookie season, did lot of really good things,” Kerr in a phone interview. “And I think a player’s biggest improvement usually comes between year one and two, because now he has a feel for what he can and cannot do, and what needs to happen to take the next step.
“Eric showed us a lot of his offensive skill work,” Kerr added. “But what we need now is for him to become a defensive force. It’s a physical league. You’ve got to be able to guard multiple guys, and he’s got the ability to do that. There’s no reason why he can’t become P.J. Tucker defensively. He’s got a similar body, got the strength to fend off bigger guys and he’s got speed to stay in front of guards.
“But it takes a commitment to become that.”
If it’s about commitment, Paschall’s history suggests he’s up to the task. He put in the work required to earn a scholarship to Fordham, and then transfer to powerhouse Villanova for his final three seasons. And when he wasn’t taken until the 41st pick of the 2019 NBA draft, he set out to prove he should have gone earlier.
Paschall averaged 14.0 points per game, ranking fourth among all rookies. He was sixth among rookies in rebounding (4.6 per game), fifth in field-goal percentage (49.7), eighth in minutes played (27.6) and 10th in free-throw percentage (77.4).
With the Warriors devastated by injuries to Klay Thompson and then Stephen Curry and posting one of the worst seasons in franchise history, a league-worst 15-50 record. One starting forward, Kevin Durant, had left for Brooklyn. The other, Draymond Green, was battling a variety of nagging injuries. Playing time was available.
Paschall exploited it. He was one of three rookies to post multiple 30-point games, and one of three with multiple 20-10 games. From a Warriors season that amounted to a pile of rubble, he somehow was able to mine gold.
And he did it without much of a 3-ball.
“That’s part of the next step offensively, especially from the corners,” Kerr said. “If he can become a more consistent 3-point shooter, then he’ll be on the floor more.”
The corner 3-ball, particularly from the right side, is where Tucker, listed at 6-5, 245, gets his money. Paschall shot 28.7 percent from deep as a rook, but he made at least two triples in 11 games. Tucker played 83 minutes as a rookie, with zero attempts from beyond the arc. His shot developed during six vagabond years, playing in the D-League and in various places overseas.
Paschall is ahead of Tucker in at least one other measurable asset: Athleticism. Tucker can run into a dunk, but Paschall can rise flat-footed into a double-pump jam.
“Oh, he’s explosive, more explosive than P.J.,” Kerr said. “But P.J. has all the tricks. He knows every trick in the book, and that’s what Eric needs to learn. He needs to learn NBA defense, learn the tricks and then become a better shooter, like PJ has.”
The coach has laid the blueprint. The league emphasizes wings and versatility, and Paschall has that ability. Like Tucker, taken 35th overall in 2006, Paschall entered the league as an unlikely impact player. Like Tucker, Paschall is built to rumble. Like Tucker, brings scrap with his muscle.
Tucker didn’t become an NBA difference-maker until he was in his 30s. Paschall is 23. He is being recognized for what he did as a rookie, which is nice but hardly enough for someone who loves to defy any odds against him.
Notre Dame eighth in USA TODAY 1-126 rankings [Video]
Notre Dame falls to No. 8 in this week’s Amway Coaches Poll Powered by USA TODAY. Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia come in the top 5. North Carolina checks in as Notre Dame’s highest-ranked opponent at No. 18 while Pitt comes in next at No. 27
Dodgers add Gore for NL wild card; Anderson out for Brewers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Terrance Gore is on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ roster for the NL wild-card series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The speedy outfielder played in two of the Dodgers’ first six games this season and was designated for assignment on July 30. He was assigned outright to the team’s alternate training site after clearing waivers.
This will be Gore’s fourth postseason appearance following time with the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 and 2015 World Series and with the Chicago Cubs in the 2018 NL wild card game. The majority of his games have been as a pinch runner.
The will carry 13 pitchers and 15 position players.
Left off the Los Angeles roster were relievers Dylan Floro and Alex Wood, and second baseman Gavin Lux.
Milwaukee left pitchers Brett Anderson and Devin Williams off its roster.
Anderson left his last start early with a blister on his left index finger. His absence makes Milwaukee’s starter in a potential Game 3 uncertain.
Williams emerged as one of baseball’s top relievers this season and is a candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Williams, who last pitched last Friday, went 4-1 with a 0.33 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 27 innings. He gave up eight hits and one earned run all season while forming a dynamic duo with closer Josh Hander at the back end of Milwaukee’s bullpen.
Making the roster of 12 pitchers and 16 position players are designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach and outfielder Ben Gamel. Their status had been uncertain due to quadriceps injuries.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Chiefs potentially down 2 more defensive starters vs. Pats
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs learned shortly before kickoff last week that offensive lineman Andrew Wylie had been taken to the hospital for a suspected case of appendicitis, leaving them even more short-handed for a high-profile Monday night matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
Mike Remmers stepped into the lineup and the Chiefs’ sizzling offense never missed a beat.
Every team goes through injuries during the season – some have more than others, some have more crucial injuries than others. But in just three games this season, the reigning Super Bowl champions already have shown an uncanny ability to overcome them, whether it’s an offensive lineman or one of the many pieces missing from their secondary.
”You know, football, things happen all the time,” said Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill, who sustained a season-ending knee injury a year ago. ”Guys get hurt. Guys get in trouble. We have that next-guy-up mentality. Coaches are always talking about how everyone is a starter on our defense because you never know when your time is going to come.”
The latest injuries are potentially big blows to the Kansas City defense ahead of yet another marquee matchup against the New England Patriots on Sunday. Rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who already has a pair of interceptions, had surgery for the collarbone he broke in Baltimore and will miss the game, while defensive tackle Chris Jones – who leads the AFC with 3 1/2 sacks – could be a game-time decision because of a lingering groin injury.
The defensive backfield in particular has shown plenty of resilience this season.
One of the starters, Bashaud Breeland, will be wrapping up his four-game suspension on Sunday for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse. The other, Charvarius Ward, returned last week with a cast on his hand from a fracture that had kept him out the previous week. And a backup, Antonio Hamilton, has dealt with a tweaked hamstring.
That has left Rashad Fenton, a sixth-round pick last year, and Bopete Keyes, a seventh-rounder this year, as the only truly healthy cornerbacks on the roster. They do have Chris Lammons, Rodney Clemons and Lavert Hill on the practice squad.
”The guys have been diligent with it, the guys that have been backup players and they’re now playing,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ”So easy for a relief pitcher to back up and say, ‘Oh, we’ll be fine.’ But these guys have jumped into it, and I think the coaches have done a good job rotating guys back there, trying to get everybody in.”
All those various combinations have paid off. Last week, the Chiefs held Lamar Jackson to just 15 of 28 passing for 97 yards, turning the potent Baltimore offense into a one-dimensional run-only attack. And through their first three games, the Chiefs rank fourth in the league against the pass.
”I think when guys go down, we’ve been trained for those situations,” Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher said. ”It’s not the first time. Something happens before the game, it doesn’t matter. When someone goes down we don’t expect a drop off.”
NOTES: Wylie planned to practice Wednesday, Reid said, but it’s unclear whether he will play this weekend. … QB Patrick Mahomes, who announced that his fiance is pregnant on Tuesday, called the idea of fatherhood ”extremely exciting. ”Being able to grow up and have all these drams of having a family and playing in the NFL, and to have that stuff happen and come to truth, is really exciting,” he said. … The Chiefs are not changing anything with regard to their COVID-19 protocol after an outbreak shut down the Tennessee facility this week. But the news did serve as a reminder to be diligent about wearing a face mask and social distancing. ”It’s a pandemic,” Reid said. ”Things can happen.”
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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