The Golden State Warriors are in unfamiliar territory. For the first time since superstar Steph Curry’s arrival in 2009, the team has gone down 0-2 in a postseason series.
The Sacramento Kings handed the Dubs a 114-106 loss in Game 2 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, and things are looking pretty bleak for Curry and company, particularly considering the team’s recent injury issues.
Golden State has lost forward Andre Iguodala and guard Ryan Rollins for the foreseeable future, and now, young stand out Jordan Poole is battling through a left ankle injury. Poole rolled his ankle in game, one of the series, as first reported by Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
Poole was questionable heading into the second game of the series, and the team left it a game-time decision, with the 23-year-old guard ultimately deciding to play. Whether that was the correct decision remains to be seen.
Jordan Poole Clearly Wasn’t Himself in Game 2 vs Kings
Poole played just 16 minutes in the Warriors’ Game 2 loss to the Kings, and he didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter. Jonathan Kuminga and Donte DiVincenzo didn’t play at all in the fourth, either.
Poole finished with four points, going 1-for-7 from the field and 0-for-3 from beyond the arc. He also had three rebounds, an assist and a steal, but his contributions were minimal compared to what they have been all season.
The young guard played in all 82 games this year, a feat only nine other players in the league accomplished. Poole averaged a career-high 20.4 points and 4.5 assists this past season, but he hasn’t taken that next step to go from good to great yet, and his defense has been suspect.
Now, it appears as though he has a painful and cumbersome injury to navigate through during a very crucial time for the Warriors.
Klay on JP’s Injury: He’s Playing on ‘Half a Foot’
When asked if he expects more from the team’s younger players — with Poole, DiVincenzo and Kuminga referenced specifically — Dubs superstar Klay Thompson had nothing but support for his younger teammates.
“Well, Jordan’s playing with, like, half a foot right now, so I was just proud of his resilience,” Thompson replied. “I know JK and Donte will have big games for us, everyone’s going to. … I just love those guys, and I know they’ll bounce back. We have a great opportunity ahead of us. I know that we’re going to right the ship.”
Curry was also threw his support behind the young trio. “Those guys have been productive all year,” Curry said when asked about the fourth quarter absence of Poole, Kuminga and DiVincenzo. “They have helped us win some big games. I expect whoever’s out there to contribute, especially when we go home, to find some momentum and some life and give ourselves a chance in the series,” he added.
Based on Thompson’s comments, it sounds as though Poole is in a great deal of pain and has been trying to play through it. Depending on whether his ankle worsens, he may miss more time in the critical series against the Kings.