Former guard finds season-best ahead of Golden State Warriors rematch

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards
Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Washington Wizards' guard Jordan Poole has found some much-needed form in his team's latest matchup, and just in time for a rematch against the Golden State Warriors in the nation's capital on Tuesday.

The former Warrior had a season-high 31 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Capital One Arena on Sunday, with the 24-year-old shooting 11-of-21 from the floor in over 37 minutes off the bench.

Jordan Poole's season-best scoring output comes ahead of another meeting against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday

Poole's performance against the Cavaliers comes amid a rough season for the 2022 NBA champion, particularly over the last week where he was demoted to the bench by Brian Keefe coming out of the All-Star break.

His first two games off the bench yielded 18 and 21-point games, though Poole shot just 11-of-36 from the floor combined. He did prove his team's best against the Cavaliers, with the 31 points supported by six threes along with five rebounds and five assists.

Poole has been in the firing line for plenty of criticism this season, having averaged 16.1 points on less than 40% shooting from the floor and just 30.9% from three-point range. ESPN's Bobby Marks told 95.7 The Game's Willard and Dibs last week that the talented guard has one of the worst contracts in the league, with three years and $100 million still remaining on his deal.

Hopefully for Poole and the Wizards, Sunday's game was a sign of better and more consistent form over the latter portion of the season. He'll look to continue the momentum when the Warriors visit on Tuesday for a second meeting since the former first-round pick was traded by the franchise last June.

Poole had 25 points, three rebounds and three assists in his return to Chase Center just before Christmas, but he shot just 7-of-21 from the floor and 3-of-12 from beyond the arc as Golden State claimed a 129-118 victory.

Tuesday's game will take on extra significance as it represents the first matchup between Poole and Warrior veteran Draymond Green -- the 33-year-old had missed the first game between the two teams due to suspension.

Poole and Green's interactions will be fascinating after the Warriors' 2022-23 season was plagued by the latter's incomprehensible punch on his young teammate in training camp. While Poole's departure in the offseason was based on a number of factors, his relationship with Green and subsequent team chemistry was certainly one of them.