Golden State Warriors rookie Jordan Poole has been inconsistent from beyond the arc to start the season. To work through the struggles, he must change up his shot selection.
The Golden State Warriors are in full development mode for the 2019 season, so while a postseason run is no longer the top priority, the growth of the young players has taken its place. Eric Paschall has made the most of his opportunity, and while Jordan Poole has gotten starting minutes, he’s clearly going through rookie growing pains.
That was to be expected, given that Poole was drafted in order to be a spark for scoring off the bench, but he has undoubtedly hit a rough patch in his last few outings. Poole has the entire season to hone his skills as the Warriors re-enter contender status next season, but he can make adjustments now in the short-term for payoff in the future.
And it all begins with a change in shot selection, which may be an adjustment for a shooter like Jordan Poole.
Shooters will always swear that the only way to overcome a slump is to keep shooting until the struggles are behind you, but a change in shot selection can be another remedy. Per Pro Basketball Reference, Poole’s percentage of field goal attempts are a majority from beyond the arc, 54 percent to be exact, compared to 45 percent from two-point range.
Poole’s percentage from those same spots on the court? 26 percent from three, and a similarly unimpressive 28 percent from two. Yet when taking a deep dive, he’s shooting a (slightly) better 36 percent on field goals zero to three feet from the basket, and 30 percent on field goals between 10 and 16 feet.
Case in point: Poole is finding incremental success from two-point range, and if he chooses to shift the volume of shots from closer to the basket or midrange, it can possibly help him become more efficient. And should he become more efficient from two, it can help with his confidence from beyond the arc in the future.
The saying goes that “old habits die hard,” and the bigger ask may not be asking Poole to become efficient from midrange, but rather electing to shoot from midrange, to begin with. So despite having the wide-open three, it might be wise to instead elect for a better two-point attempt.
Jordan Poole still has plenty of the season ahead of him, and Steve Kerr isn’t necessarily irked by poor shooting, rather the lack to shoot. Poole has the green light, but the lesson learned is that it does not always have to be from deep.