Golden State Warriors fans have been watching Jordan Poole develop for two seasons now, but one insider said they’ve never seen anything like the version that’s taken the court in the past few games.
Poole has moved into the starting lineup since Steph Curry suffered an injury earlier in the week, and the second-year player turned in a good imitation of the two-time MVP. Poole’s rapid transformation since emerging from the G League bubble is starting to get some major attention and looks to be earning him a bigger role on the team for the remainder of the season.
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Poole Looks Like a Different Player
Since moving into the starting lineup this week, Poole has turned in a pair of stellar performances. He scored 25 points in Friday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies and notched another 26 in Saturday’s loss, and over the last seven games has 18 assists with just two turnovers. Poole is now averaging 20 points over the month of March.
In a recent mailbag, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau wrote that he has never seen such a dramatic midseason jump for a player. He added that Poole is now almost “unrecognizable” from the player who struggled at times in the G League bubble just a few weeks ago.
“In the first month-plus of the season, he still looked a bit lost at times, attempting ill-advised jumpers and needlessly dribbling,” Letourneau wrote. “Even at the G League bubble, Poole struggled with turnovers and his 3-point shot. But since returning to Golden State two weeks ago, he has looked so poised and polished.”
Jordan Poole in March (6 games):
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 20, 2021
Poole Earns Bigger Role
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that Poole is now likely to take on a more significant role in the Warriors rotation, even after Curry returns from the tailbone contusion that kept him out of this weekend’s games. Kerr said after Saturday’s loss that the point guard would be seeing more minutes off the bench once Curry is back.
Recap of the lone loss on a 2-1 road trip for a Warriors team that will be giving the emerging Jordan Poole heavy minutes moving forward
"Yes," Steve Kerr said.https://t.co/JIpYEObcLt
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 21, 2021
Kerr said he has been impressed with Poole’s play since returning to Golden State, noting even before this weekend’s two-game tilt with the Grizzlies that Poole looks like a “different guy.” Speaking on 95.7 The Game’s “Damon, Ratto & Kolsky” on Thursday, Kerr said there was a “huge difference” in Poole’s play and his confidence since coming out of the G League bubble.
“The thing that I love is that he’s earned this confidence, this comfort level,” Kerr said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s been in the gym pretty much every day since the pandemic began a year ago. He really understood what was at stake and how hard he had to work, and he put the work in, and the results here are really showing. Very happy for him and happy for us.”
It remained unclear just how much longer Poole could remain in the starting lineup. Kerr said ahead of Saturday’s game that it would be “irresponsible” for the team to rush Curry back to the court, and did not indicate whether he might be able to play in Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.