After dominating the Sacramento Kings in Game 7 of the first round, the Golden State Warriors went to battle against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
Despite their best efforts, including a late-game surge by Stephen Curry, the Lakers earned the win, going up 1-0 in the series and stealing home-court advantage.
The Warriors’ fourth-quarter efforts were highlighted (or lowlighted) by a Jordan Poole three-point attempt from deep with roughly 10 seconds left on the clock. Golden State was down 112-115, and the shot would have tied the game.
After the game, head coach Steve Kerr spoke about the attempt.
“Pretty good look,” Kerr said via 95.7 The Game. “That’s a shot he can hit. Really happy with that possession. Jordan had six threes already. It was a great shot for us.”
Kerr’s pleased reaction did not match that of Twitter, which was full of Warriors and NBA fans criticizing Poole for the attempt.
In a vacuum, Poole’s shot is fine. As Kerr noted, he had already nailed six three-pointers at that point, and he’s nailed threes from that range in the past plenty of times. But the added context is how hot Curry was. He had 14 points in the fourth quarter alone, including three threes.
With Curry and Klay Thompson on the floor–two of the best three-point shooters of all-time–and the Warriors down by three points, most would expect one of them to get the shot in that situation.
Instead, it was Poole, and while Kerr is fine with it, one can only wonder how the game would have turned out if Curry or Thompson would have gotten the ball.
Warriors’ Draymond Green on Jordan Poole’s Issues
“I know a lot of people will slander Jordan Poole, but his demeanor tonight was incredible,” Green said on the April 30 episode of his podcast. “71-64, we’re in a timeout. He came into the timeout, and he said, ‘Hey, man. They getting a little tight now. All of a sudden, floaters short, shots short. They’re getting a little tight, turn the pressure up now.’ We fed off that energy. It was huge.”
Warriors’ Draymond Green on LeBron James Game
Heading into the series, most of the focus was on the matchup between LeBron James and Curry. However, another spotlight has been put on James and Green, as the Warriors forward recently revealed that he wanted to be away from the team to watch James break the all-time scoring record earlier this season.
“Yeah, I was definitely going. It was a TNT game,” Green told Andscape’s Marc J. Spears. “I was doing the broadcast and Steve said, ‘I don’t think that’ll be great for our team. While we’re flying out on the road, you’re flying to LA, guys see that, guys see you on the TV calling the game. This is a big game for us against Portland.’ I said, ‘All right, respect. No problem. I’ll be there with my team.’