Steph Curry Sends Strong Message to Slumping Warriors Teammate

Steph Curry

Getty/Kavin Mistry Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors talks through plays with teammate Jordan Poole against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Chase Center.

The most improved player award for the Warriors this season definitely goes to Jordan Poole. After averaging 12 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.8 rebounds last season, he bumped those averages up to 16.1 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.1 rebounds this season.

While his numbers have increased this season, the starter and bench splits still are pretty drastic. While starting in 35 games, he averages 18.3 points on 35% from three. In 20 games off the bench, the numbers drop to 12.2 points and 29.3% from three.

It definitely looks like Poole is still trying to find his footing in a reserve role. The dynamics of coming off the bench are definitely different than starting. With less minutes on the floor as a reserve, each miss and mistake are judged more significantly, and this has impacted Poole’s performance hot and cold from game to game.

During a brutal loss to the Mavericks on February 27, the Michigan product has perhaps his worse shooting night in the game. In just 19 minutes, he went 0-for-7, including four missed threes. Steve Kerr admitted that he only played Poole for four minutes in the fourth quarter due to his ineffectiveness.

Steph Curry on Poole: He’s Going to Help Us Win Games

“Yeah, he has been asked to do a lot of different things this year, and he is still coming into his own as an experienced player,” Curry said after the game, via NBC Sports. “He’s had some success, had some struggles, but honestly, just making sure he is engaged. That’s the biggest thing. No matter if he is making shots or not, how many minutes he is playing. Just making sure he is engaged because he is going to help us. He is going to help us win games when it matters.”

When Poole struggles, game tapes in the past shows that he becomes disengaged. Outside of six rebounds he grabbed against Dallas, he failed to do much else. And this is exactly the kind of trap Curry does not want the third-year guard to fall into.

“For him to be who he wants to be in this league, I think he has to have a little bit of versatility in terms of being able to play different styles,” Curry continues. “Sometimes start, sometimes come off the bench. Sometimes 30 minutes, sometimes 15. You’ve got to be able to be yourself through all of those situations. At some point, we all kind of go through that. I think he is built for it, and he is going to have something to show for it.”

With Klay Thompson out with illness, Poole had every reason to get an expanded role in Sunday’s game. It was probably frustrating to the youngster for not being able to do more to help his team avoid the loss. Thompson is slated to be out for Tuesday’s game against the Wolves, so let’s see if Poole is able to bounce back and excel.

Warriors Second Place Lead in Conference Continues to Shrink

Earlier in the season, the Warriors were neck to neck for the one seed with Phoenix, but it certainly looks like the Dubs will not get a chance to go after the top spot anymore. With every game the Warriors let slip away, Memphis gains ground and is now within two games the second spot.

The remaining 20 games for the Dubs won’t make it easy either. The upcoming four-game road trip has them going back and forth with a flight from Texas to Los Angeles, before wrapping up the trip in the Mile High City. The following night, the Dubs play in San Francisco. The remaining schedule after that has games against the defending champion Bucks, Celtics, Heat, Grizzles, Suns, and the Jazz.

Furthermore, there may be a bit of an adjustment period once James Wiseman, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala come back. It is looking more and more unlikely we will see the stars of the team rest as the postseason gets nearer.

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Freddy Jacks
Freddy Jacks
5 months ago

Just start Poole when klay’s out. The last thing Kerr should be doing is screwing with his confidence. ie head.

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