Warriors’ Curry, Thompson Sound Off on Poole’s Struggles

Getty Klay Thompson (left) and Andrew Wiggins (right) of the Golden State Warriors sit on the bench at the end of the team's loss to the Sacramento Kings in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs in April 2023.

The Golden State Warriors are on the ropes, facing a Game 7 on the road against the Sacramento Kings Sunday in large part due to the struggles of Jordan Poole.

The Dubs blew a chance to close the series out at home on Friday, April 28, with a dud of an effort that ended in a 118-99 loss at the hands of the Kings. Bad performances abounded in Golden State, though perhaps none were as abysmal as Poole’s effort after he got the starting nod for Game 6 in place of Draymond Green.

Poole shot 2-of-11 from the field, scoring seven points to go along with two steals and one assist. He posted a -14 in the plus/minus column in 26 minutes of action. After the game, team leader Steph Curry spoke to Poole’s struggles and what he must do to correct them ahead of Sunday.

“We need him, and he’s more than capable and shown the ability to impact games. And the biggest thing for all of us, you know JP included, is that next play mentality that is so important at this level, not just in the 82-game schedule but also in a playoff series where you don’t have to be kind of a victim of the last game,” Curry said. “You always can kind of bounce back. I have nothing but confidence in his ability to do that and understand to bring the right energy for this next game.”

“We’ve all kind of been there, been through those growing pains of a playoff experience, and it happens,” Curry continued. “But we all can play better, and we all gotta play better if we’re going to win on Sunday.”

Klay Thompson Speaks to Jordan Poole’s Game 6 Struggles Against Kings

Jordan Poole, Warriors

GettyJordan Poole (right) of the Golden State Warriors goes up for a shot against Trey Lyles (left) of the Sacramento Kings during Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs in April 2023.

Klay Thompson also took the podium following the Warriors’ disappointing effort Friday night where, like Curry, he fielded questions on Poole’s struggles and how the young guard’s teammates can help him out of his current slump.

“We’ve all been there. I’ve had terrible slumps during the playoffs, Olympics, at the highest level,” Thompson said, per a press conference video posted on the NBCS Warriors Twitter account. “Jordan is only 23 years old. We lose as a team, we win as a team, so it wasn’t on just JP tonight. He could come out and get 30 [points] effortlessly on Sunday, so he’s just gotta keep his confidence up.”

“He’s a great player and he helped us win a championship last year. If we wanna do that again, he will do the same this year,” Thompson continued. “So it’s just up to us to come in with the right mindset on Sunday and empty the clip.”

Jordan Poole’s Shooting Issues Continue in Playoffs After Rough Regular Season

Jordan Poole

GettyJordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a three-point shot against the Boston Celtics during Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June 2022.

Poole’s difficulties against the Kings were not unique to Friday night. He has shot just 33.8% from the field and 24.1% from behind the arc across six games in the series, averaging only 12.7 points per game, according to statistics compiled by ESPN.

Poole struggled offensively during the course of the regular season as well, as his long-range shot dipped to an average of just 33.6%, down almost three percentage points from the year prior. However, things have gotten considerably worse against the Kings in the playoffs. Poole averaged 20.4 points per game on 43% shooting from the field during the regular season, per Basketball Reference, and has been a far cry from both of those numbers during the postseason.

The Warriors take the court against the Kings on Sunday afternoon in Sacramento at 3:30 p.m. ET and 12:30 p.m. WST. The Kings were a one-point favorite to win Game 7 as of Saturday night.