Jordan Poole & Warriors Bench Guards Earn Dubious Distinction From Analyst

Jordan Poole Warriors Lakers

Getty Jordan Poole reacts during Game 1 of a second-round playoff series between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Golden State Warriors bounced back in an incredible way during Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, throttling the purple and gold crew 127-100 at Chase Center. However, even the most optimistic citizen of Dub Nation would likely confess that a level of concern remains.

Golden State was perhaps unsustainably hot from the field, shooting 50.5% overall and 50.0% from deep in the contest. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis — who tore up the Warriors’ defense in Game 1 — pushed back on the notion that his lackluster second outing had anything to do with what Draymond Green and Co. were doing, instead insisting that he just missed shots.

What’s more, the Warriors’ bench has yet to truly show out in back-to-back contests, and the backcourt reserves — led by Game 1 scapegoat Jordan Poole — have been particularly spotty.

They have been so inconsistent, in fact, that Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes essentially just namechecked the group as the Warriors’ postseason Achilles heel.

B/R: Warriors’ Bench Guards Could Derail Team’s Title Defense

As part of the analyst’s attempt to identify the one thing holding back every playoff team still standing, Hughes zeroed in on the bench guards as having not played to their full potential thus far.

“Jordan Poole is the easy target. His turnover woes, penchant for fouling, inexplicably poor shot selection and refusal to compete defensively (especially in transition) have been on display all season and throughout the playoffs,” Hughes wrote.

The 23-year-old was far from the only one to catch flak here, though. It was further opined that the entire backcourt contingent of the second unit had failed to exhibit the same kind of two-way efficacy that their dynastic forebears were known for.

“Poole is about as far from Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala as it gets. Ditto, so far, for Donte DiVincenzo and Gary Payton II, whose stints on the floor have also dragged the Dubs’ net rating into extreme negative territory,” Hughes added.

“Neither has scored efficiently nor made a consistent impact on D. Payton was a reliable creator of chaos last year, but he’s only had flashes of that form in this postseason.”

Warriors Flipped the Script on Lakers’ Efforts to Contain Stephen Curry in the Backcourt

In other news, Dubs cornerstone Stephen Curry famously switched things up during Game 2, doing his best John Stockton impression with a game-high 12 assists to go with his 20 points.

Whether he was scoring or distributing, it was clear that Golden State had cracked the code with regard to Los Angeles’ efforts to pressure him in the backcourt.

Per Second Spectrum, via ESPN Stats & Info, the Lakers picked Curry up as the ball-handler in the backcourt on 17 possessions apiece during Games 1 and 2. In the series opener, the Warriors scored just 1.06 points per possession in the face of that pressure.

During the second game, however, that number jumped to a whopping 2.0 points per possession.

So, while Steph’s individual point total was down, the results probably have Lakers coach Darvin Ham dreaming up new ways to prevent the baller from shredding his defense.

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