Despite their recent success, the Golden State Warriors are still not where they wanted to be heading into the season. After winning the NBA Championship last season, they’ve gotten out to an 11-11 start, which places them in 10th place in the Western Conference.
The Warriors rank 22nd in the league in defensive rating (113.3), and after one of Golden State’s recent games, head coach Steve Kerr sounded off on Jordan Poole’s defensive deficiencies.
“I think he’s been better, but I think the consistency needs to be there,” Kerr said. “I took a quick timeout at the start of the second quarter last night because, frankly, Jordan got a little careless and lost his man, first in the half-court and then in transition. We gave up six straight points.”
Poole has struggled so far this year, and he’s never been the best defender in the world. He’s appeared in all 22 of the Warriors’ games so far this season, playing 27.5 minutes per game. The 23-year-old guard is averaging 15.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game on 41.5% shooting from the field and 30.5% shooting from three-point range.
Warriors Star Calls Out Poole
This season has been anything but smooth sailing for the Warriors this year. With Poole leading the second unit, Draymond Green spoke about the difficulties earlier this season, noting that the bench needs to play a different brand of basketball than they’re used to.
“I think it’s a lot different,” Green explained. “For the most part, coming off the bench, we’ve had kind of an elder statesman, if you will. [Someone] that would come off the bench, kind of slow things down, right the ship. And it’s different now, where you come off the bench, and the reality is, the first guy you come off the bench with is usually JP. And JP is a sixth starter. And so that’s a different feel.”
He also said that since Poole plays a similar game to Stephen Curry, the bench has to get used to playing the same style of offense that the starters play.
“And I think when you’re starting to get more guys in there, and it’s turning into the second unit, as opposed to more of the first unit guys,” Green said. “Whereas it used to be a kind of a different offense, if you will. It’s more like the same. And I think we have to figure that out in that second unit and understand that, you know, what you’re accustomed to is, Steph goes out the game and the whole offense changes, and it’s more sets. But with Jordan is still going to be more of the same as you get with Steph, and I think guys have to really adjust to that, and it’s taken some time to adjust to that.”
Warriors Linked to ‘Multi-Team Trade’
And as the Warriors continue to search for answers in regards to their bench unit, a recent report from Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report indicates that they could be interested in Jae Crowder, and it could be a multi-team deal.
“The Suns have several suitors, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors,” Pincus wrote. “One executive told B/R that the final result could be a multi-team trade with three, four or even five NBA franchises.”
Until they work something out with the bench, expect the Warriors to be brought up in trade talks all year.