Golden State Warriors: Steve Kerr resisting temptation on major lineup change

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 20: Klay Thompson #11 and Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors react to a play during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals at Chase Center on May 20, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 20: Klay Thompson #11 and Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors react to a play during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals at Chase Center on May 20, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

As Jordan Poole lit up the San Antonio Spurs on the way to a season-high 36 points on Monday night, one ominous Golden State Warriors question began bubbling away in the background.

It was the Warriors best performance of the season, albeit against a rebuilding and lottery-destined Spurs squad. But Poole’s confidence, activity and engagement was noticeably different as he filled in as the starting two-guard for a resting Klay Thompson.

Jordan Poole’s electric performance against the San Antonio Spurs has prompted questions on whether he should be a starter for the Golden State Warriors going forward.

Poole’s dynamic display on Monday, and the well-publicised struggles of Thompson to open the season, has many considering whether a switch of roles should take place. While head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged Poole plays better as a starter, his permanent fixture in the lineup is not yet a consideration.

"“No, it’s not something I’m thinking about. Our starting five with Klay has been really really good this year. The bigger thing is finding the right combinations off the bench”, Kerr said during the postgame press conference."

In three games off the bench this season, Poole is averaging 28.7 points, five assists and 2.3 steals on 47.5% shooting from the floor and 39.4% from three-point range. That’s a stark contrast to his games off the bench where he’s averaging 13.9 points and 4.1 assists on 42.1% shooting and 32.3% from three-point range. While the numbers weren’t as startling, the difference between Poole’s contributions as a starter and sixth man were also huge last season.

Thompson is shooting 35.1% from the field and 33% from three-point range, his 14.7 points per game well below his career average of 19.5. Kerr does signal a defining point though — Golden State’s usual starting lineup are +24 in net rating across 151 minutes together.

Next. Klay Thompson shares optimism on Instagram, but is that half the issue?. dark

While there won’t be any change in the immediate future, ongoing concerns for Thompson could lead to growing angst and a situation where Kerr pulls the trigger on a controversial move to his guard rotation.