The Golden State Warriors typically have several players up for year-end award honors; however, this season may be a bit different as both Draymond Green and two-time MVP Stephen Curry were injured for significant portions of the season.
The one player still capable of hearing his name announced is third-year guard Jordan Poole.
Indiana Pacers’ guard Tyrese Haliburton casts his vote for Most Improved Player, and it went to Golden State Warriors star guard Jordan Poole.
Poole was the Warriors’ first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The 22-year-old 6-foot-4 guard was immediately thrust into a team that won just 15 games and had its season cut short by Covid-19.
That didn’t bode well for his production, averaging just 8.8 points per game. It was more his efficiency that caused many to think less of his potential as a score-first guard.
Poole shot just 33% from the field and 28% from deep. During his second and third years, he continually improved upon both of those. He shot 12 points on 43% his second season and most recently improved those to 18.5 points and 45% shooting.
Poole’s ascension into stardom has been quick, and it’s a clear testament to his work ethic. Pacers’ guard, who started the season with the Sacramento Kings, Tyrese Haliburton cast his hypothetical vote for MIP on Poole.
Tyler Herro for Sixth Man of the Year and Joel Embiid for Most Valuable Player are also opinions that are easy to get behind. It seems like Nikola Jokic is the MVP favorite, but Embiid certainly could be the league’s MVP.
As for the MIP, many think Ja Morant has the award locked up, but there’s a good bit of reason to believe voters should choose Poole.
For starters, he kept the Warriors alive down the streak, averaging 25.4 points per game over the team’s last 20, many of which were without Curry. He also has increased his scoring by 66% over his previous year.
While Morant has been great and his scoring has been just as impressive, he went from star to superstar. Poole went from average to star, and whichever the committee decides is more impressive might be who gets the award.