Throughout their 2020-21 NBA season the Golden State Warriors have had some bright spots. Not many considering their record is 37-33 and they’re fighting to see where the land in the NBA’s play-in for the upcoming playoffs but those spots that have shined have been memorable.
One such bright spot would be the stellar play of Warriors reserve guard Jordan Poole. Poole, a second-year shooting guard out of the University of Michigan, is certainly taking advantage of the time he’s getting on the court as he’s increased his points per game from 8.8 last year to 11.4 this year while receiving fewer minutes.
He’s been one of the catalysts for why this Warriors team can be in the NBA’s play-in and some analysts and writers are beginning to notice.
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Analyst Praises Poole for Rising to Prominence
The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie covers the NBA at large and the NBA draft. Safe to say he takes note of the progression of players as they leave the collegiate or international game and their transition into the NBA.
One player he openly said he wasn’t a fan of on draft night was Poole. However, with the work Poole has put in and how important he’s become to this Warriors team, Vecenie is now singing a different tune.
The Warriors might have legit nailed it on the Jordan Poole pick. The leap he’s made from Year One to Year Two, and even just within Year Two from start to end of year, is legit essential to their success right now.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) May 12, 2021
I was not really a fan of Poole at all pre-draft (and that continued after Year One), but man he’s gotten so much better. Clear that he’s put in a lot of work. Deserves some credit for his piece of their run. Wiggins does, too. Been huge.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) May 12, 2021
Vecenie isn’t the only one that’s taken notice. Following the Warriors win against the top-ranked Utah Jazz, Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr discussed how important it is for players like Poole to step up.
“That’s how we’re going to win,” Kerr said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “If everyone has that mentality that when you’re on the floor, you need to make an impact and you need to be aggressive and confident and make plays on both ends of the floor.
“It’s huge when we can get a number of players scoring because Steph draws so much attention. Guys are going to be open. I thought everyone was really aggressive tonight … That’s what we need. We can’t expect Steph to carry us every night, offensively.”
“Jordan’s got a lot of ability and tonight he was able to showcase that ability,” Kerr said. “Made some big shots, really gave us the spark off the bench that is what his role is. He’s a good shooter, good playmaker and when he’s playing with Steph, he’s going to have a lot of space out there because they’re paying so much attention to Steph. I thought he took advantage of that tonight.”
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Draymond Green Discusses Poole’s Good Habits
It’s great to see that not only analysts but those within the Golden State organization can see the value that Poole brings. This could turn into a steal of a draft pick if he continues to progress at this rate.
His All-Star and former Defensive Player of the Year teammate, Draymond Green, not only has taken notice of the change in Poole’s game but is happy to see that Poole’s hard work is paying off in the best way.
“I always talk to Jordan about being confident and when you’re open, take some shots,” Draymond Green said. “He’s a confident kid, works his ass off. You know, it’s always great to see him have these moments and all the work that he put in paying off. It’s definitely not by accident. (The) kid works his ass off so he deserves to have these moments, and obviously, we can use them.”
Steph Curry on him and Jordan Poole practicing half court shots today: “He was hot this morning. He was on fire. Think he hit 4-6.” https://t.co/D8NAL3mVx5
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) May 11, 2021
“It was very fitting that he carried that over and had an opportunity to shoot it,” Curry said. “More so, I’m proud that he actually shot it because there’s a lot of guys in this league not who worry about field goal percentage and they don’t even take the heaves because they don’t want to field goal attempt … so I’m glad he took it.”
Moving into next season, if swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. isn’t brought back to the team, a new 6th man role could open for Poole to dive into. Looking at the body of work he’s put together thus far, he may be a prime candidate to solidify himself within it.
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