As if entering the NBA for your rookie season isn’t already a hard-enough task, spare a thought for Golden State Warriors point guard Patrick McCaw, who is not only trying to find his place in the league, but trying to figure out how he can slot into the ‘Super Team’ that is the Warriors.
After originally being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this year, McCaw was then traded to Golden State – which some might say is pretty a great way to kick off your professional career. But, when you’re competing for court time against the likes of Stephen Curry and Shaun Livingston, you are going to have your work cut out for you.
To his credit, McCaw has stepped up to the challenge.
Through the first quarter of the season the young point guard out of Maryland has been averaging more than ten minutes per game, and while his stat line might not look overly impressive, he’s developed into a key member of the Dubs coming off the bench to provide support for Curry and Ian Clark on a regular basis.
McCaw talked about how adjusting to the traveling and playing so many game every week as taken some getting used to though.
“The NBA lifestyle is definitely tough,” he said. “Making sure that you’re preparing yourself for games and keeping your body conditioned because you’re on a plane every other day, or you have a game every other day.”
Continuing to talk about the key things that have helped him settle into routine, McCaw said, “Eating right, getting your sleep and maintaining your tempo is the biggest thing I’ve started to learn.”
Joining a team that had just made one of the biggest off-season moves in NBA history, McCaw arrived at the Warriors camp at the same time as Kevin Durant, along with David West, JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia. But fitting in with the team doesn’t seem to have been a problem.
We hear so much about how good the culture is at Golden State and McCaw tells us that coming into that environment was great.
“It made the transition that much easier – such a great organization surrounded by such great players, and management, and coaches,” he said. “That made everything that much easier when guys are supporting you and helping you along the way.
“That made my transition so much easier.”
It’s a common train of thought to believe that if you are surround yourself with the best in the business, you will improve at a much more rapid rate than if you are around the mediocre. This rings true for the NBA and the decisions that unfolded on draft night have given McCaw the boost that he was looking for to fast track his transition to the big league.
“You want to play at the level of guys that you are surrounded by and these are guys that you have looked up to and that you’re inspired to be. There’s so much knowledge in the room, there’s no way that you don’t elevate your game and grow.”
Obviously being a part of such a high talent team has a lot of advantages, and McCaw says that being able to lean on his team mates for support, and everyone has helped with his development.
“It’s crazy. Everyone has helped and given me their own little experiences on what I need to focus on and do in order to have a successful career. So it’s been great and really helping me to grow.”
The Bay Area is one of the fastest paced cities in the United States. For a young person moving into the area, there is a lot going on – even if he hasn’t had too much downtime to go exploring just yet.
“The atmosphere is great! The city, the weather, the people – everything’s fun. I like to get out and be active, so anything involving something fun, I’ll do it,” said McCaw.
If you take a look at McCaw’s on court appearance, you might notice that his shorts are a little bit shorter than the other members on his team, and he tells starting5online that he’s bringing the short shorts back to the NBA.
“It’s just always something that I’ve been doing; just wearing my shorts a little smaller,” he said. “They stay out of the way, it’s comfortable for me and it’s just my style. It’s great to see other guys (Jaylen Brown at Boston) doing it too.”
As the 38th pick in the NBA draft, it’s fair to say that not many people expected much out of Patrick McCaw in his first season as a pro, but he’s out there showing the world that perhaps he should have been taken a lot earlier in the draft. As he continues to develop, McCaw is providing some much-needed depth to the Warriors roster which could prove invaluable come playoff time.
Feature Image: San Francisco Chronicle
Story Images: The Mercury News, Golden State of Mind