Jordan Poole not part of Golden State Warriors’ closing five amid struggles

The Golden State Warriors as a whole have been struggling lately. They lost three-straight road games before a bounceback of sorts against the Milwaukee Bucks in an overtime victory on Saturday.

There is one very important player who has continually struggled, and his name is on the lips of many Warrior fans. Jordan Poole hasn’t looked like the player we all know — over the last four games he’s averaging 14 points on a deplorable 34.8% from the field and 29.6% from three-point range. His defense continues to be a major issue that the Warriors struggle to cover, and he has an average plus-minus of -10.8 during this stretch.

Jordan Poole’s struggles continue to intensify as the Golden State Warriors seek to secure a playoff berth over the remainder of the regular season.

Even back at Chase Center in the win over the Bucks, Poole still struggled. It wasn’t as bad as some previous games, but be still had just 13 points on shooting 4-for-13 on the night. You can tell he is in some sort of slump, correlating with the return of Stephen Curry and Poole’s move back to the bench.

Jordan Poole drives on Jae Crowder during the Golden State Warriors win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

You can see Poole start to force shots. He’s uncomfortable, taking some bad shots because he thinks he has to get his while Curry is on the bench. It feels like nothing is in the flow like it is when he’s at his best.

Poole is rushed when coming off the bench, knowing that Curry will re-enter the ball game and his shots will be limited. It’s not on purpose necessarily, meaning this is more a subconscious mental factor for the fourth-year guard.

The 23-year-old’s shortcomings defensively, and his current inefficiency offensively, means that he’s no longer part of the Warriors closing five, even with Andrew Wiggins absent from the lineup. Instead, Donte DiVincenzo is a much more trustworthy option — both though his perimeter shooting and capacity to an intense point-of-attack defender.

The Warriors need Poole to step it up — they lost three straight games then came within inches of a fourth-straight loss against a Bucks team without Giannis Antetokounmpo. If he can step up his play and provide 25 great minutes or so off of the bench, then the Warriors can still be the team they envisaged at the start of the season.