Steve Kerr Issues Statement on Warriors Star Jordan Poole After Huge Change

Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors have not had the season they may have hoped for after they won their fourth championship in eight years last summer. Instead of competing for a top spot in the Western Conference, they find themselves sitting at 23-24 on the season, good for 10th place in the West standings.

In turn with their struggles, head coach Steve Kerr recently made a lineup change, inserting Jordan Poole into the starting five in Golden State’s January 19 loss to the Boston Celtics. He’s stuck with the change and recently hypothesized why Poole tends to play better as a starter.

“He seems to play better in the starting lineup, for whatever reason,” Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I can theorize why, you know, more space when he’s playing with Steph. He’s generally going to have a lesser defender on him. I think he makes other people better too in the starting lineup because of the space and shots he can create. So, it’s a good fit, but we have to fight on the glass defensively because we’re pretty small. But it’s something we’re excited about doing and I thought it looked pretty good against Boston. I think we could have gotten even better shots than we did. And that’s the challenge as we go, to understand we can get great shots playing a smaller lineup like that because of the space and the shooting and the ability to attack closeouts from all five spots, so we should be seeking great shots every night.”

Since inserting Poole into the first unit, the Warriors have gone 1-2, dropping games to the Celtics and Brooklyn Nets but picking up a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers without the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins.

Kerr’s theory about Poole’s success in the starting lineup has some backing to it. In the 25 games he’s started this season, Poole has averaged 26.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 44.0% shooting from the field and 32.0% shooting from distance. Meanwhile, in the 22 games he’s come off the bench, Poole has put up 15.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists on 42.8% shooting from the floor and 32.4% shooting from deep.

Stephen Curry Discusses Warriors Lineup Change

After Kerr made the initial change in the Warriors’ game against the Celtics, Curry spoke about the move. He noted that if they give up size in the starting lineup, they have to play more physically and battle on the boards.

“There’s strength and weaknesses to it,” Curry told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “But we got great shots with it tonight. Came out with a lot of juice. We gotta be better at rebounding. If we give up size, we gotta be more physical, prepared to rebound. But it gives us great space and gets us great shots, and you gotta like the way we can play fast and put pressure on defenses.”

Draymond Green Takes Blame for Warriors Struggles

Meanwhile, during a recent episode of his podcast, The Draymond Green Show, Green took the blame for Golden State’s struggles this season, stating that he “hasn’t been the leader” the team needs him to be.

“Our struggles this hear have not been because we aren’t flipping the switch,” Green told Crawford. “I think a lot of our shortcomings this year is my fault… because I have not been the leader that I am and that I need to be for this team. And the reason that I have not been that leader has also been my fault. I think we all know what happened with your young [Michigan] Wolverine brother, JP [Poole}. So for me, I’ve kind of had to walk a fine line of not really being Draymond, and when I’m not really being myself, that’s not the best thing for this team. So, where we’ve struggled is accountability. Accountability on the defensive end, accountability on the v end. You know the accountability that it takes to have a winning team. That’s my role on this team and I’ve fell short in that area. That’s something that I have to be better at, that I have to get back to. But, when I look at our struggles… it’s because guys haven’t been, I being the No. 1 culprit, who they need to be fulfilling their roles on this team.”

Draymond Green takes accountability for Golden State Warriors' inconsistency | Draymond Green ShowDraymond Green tells Jamal Crawford why the Golden State Warriors’ struggles this year stem from a lack of accountability. Dray breaks down why his leadership responsibilities are different from Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Andre Iguodala, and explains why it’s on him to get the team back on track after the Jordan Poole incident. Download…2023-01-19T20:00:15Z
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