After helping lead the Golden State Warriors to an NBA championship and getting a huge pay day for doing so, Jordan Poole has started off the new season much slower than some expected. However, after putting up two consecutive good performances, he may be looking to turn the corner.
After a stellar breakout performance last season where he looked like the second coming of future Hall of Famer Stephen Curry, Poole has seen a significant dip in every statistic except for steals and assists per game.
He may have looked like his superstar teammate all last season, but Poole is now looking more like former New York Knicks star and former Warrior John Starks. Even the advanced stats line up with Poole’s current numbers.
There have been a few factors leading to Jordan Poole’s decline this season, not the least of which is the added pressure from the Golden State Warriors.
Watching Poole play this season, it’s been clear that he’s trying to do too much on both ends of the court. He’s forcing shots and dribble combos that lead to bad misses or turnovers that he wasn’t called for last season. Defensively, he’s jumping at a lot of steal attempts rather than simply trying to stay in front of his man.
These have still been evident the last two games, but the errors and mistakes have been somewhat minimized. Poole is showing improvement in his decision making, demonstrated by back-to-back 18-point games on good efficiency.
During that stretch, the 23-year-old has gotten more looks while off the ball and has started playing inside-out. This allows him to get to the free throw line more often while also getting easier looks from inside the arc and from three as well.
One player returning from injury has also been a major part of Jordan Poole returning to form for the Golden State Warriors.
Part of what has led to this drop in mistakes is the return of Donte DiVincenzo. This allows Poole to play off ball more often while DiVincenzo handles the ball, leading to easier looks for the rising star.
Poole’s chemistry with the former champion was on full display in their loss against the Sacramento Kings where they played perfectly off of each other in the first quarter. Their play together even led head coach Steve Kerr to play the duo for a brief moment down the stretch.
Not only was there a string of plays where the tandem combined for 10 points in the span of two minutes, but they also played incredible team and individual defense together as well. This led to a 15-point lead before the end of opening period.
While the Warriors would go on to lose the game, it certainly wasn’t due to the performance from Poole and DiVincenzo. They played phenomenally and Kerr is certainly going to keep them together in the rotation going forward.
After having two straight games where he contributed to the offense consistently, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Poole soon go off for one of his best games of the season. The Warriors are going to need to lean on him more if they hope to win another title this year.