(Photo Credit: @jcfphotog on Twitter)
With the Warriors in the midst of an NBA Finals run, third year guard Jordan Poole has been at the center of all the action. Following an incredible run at the University of Michigan, Poole was guided by the tutelage of Stephen Curry. After learning beside Curry for two years, Poole exploded onto the scene in the 2021-2022 season with crazy shots like this.
With Klay Thompson absent for the first part of the year, having Poole beside Curry was paramount to the Warriors success. Poole averaged 18.2 points per game, 4 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game, which even put him in Most Improved Player discussion.
Somehow, in the playoffs, Poole has gotten even better while coming off the bench. Poole has averaged higher points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and free throw percentage per game in the playoffs.
And yes, numbers are great but the impact that players around Poole have seen is just as important.
Steve Kerr put it best by explaining what Jordan Poole has done for the Warriors. “It (Poole’s success) has been a big deal, because for a long time the non-Steph minutes have been a big issue for us,” said Kerr.
Anyone who watches Curry and Poole play can see the similarities. From the step back threes to the magical finishing in the paint, Poole has learned from the best teacher on the planet.
Speaking of the teacher, Curry has had plenty of good things to say about Poole.
“He’s a hooper,” said Curry. “You either have it or you don’t, and you can tell he does.”
With the amount of emphasis that opposing defenses place on Curry, Poole has allowed Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr to run the same exact offense with Curry off the floor. From his passing IQ to his incredible energy running around off the ball, Poole has shown the ability to match Curry while running the point.
Even Poole himself knows that when Curry gets off the floor, the focus turns to him.
“When Steph comes off the floor, the defense tends to focus on me a little bit more so continue to be aggressive. And not only try to make plays for my teammates but try to look for more shots,” said Poole.
Poole has an incredible ability to balance setting up his teammates and efficiently score the basketball. Poole has posted a +51 in his playoff minutes, and was key in Kevon Looney’s 21 point performance on Sunday night.
Ultimately, Poole has stepped in and filled a role that has been absent since Kevin Durant left. Curry and Thompson were able to win a championship on their own. However, with the formation of so many super teams, three superstars are needed to win in the NBA. While Poole may not be a superstar yet, he is a star. A star that has the Golden State Warriors within close reach of the NBA Finals.