The rest of the NBA has been given a heads-up. In their rotation, the Warriors have introduced a third “Splash Brother.”
After destroying Denver in his first two career postseason games, Golden State guard Jordan Poole immediately emerged as the breakout star of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Poole scored 30 points in Game 1 and then 29 points in Game 2 while shooting 65.5 percent from the field in both games.
The 22-year-old has been bending defences and shooting shots that are eerily similar to those made by Stephen Curry. Poole has been dubbed a “baby Steph Curry” by Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green couldn’t help but draw the same comparison.
Jordan Poole had a difficult first season.
Poole was taken with the No. 28 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Warriors, fresh off a trip to the NBA Finals, but the former Michigan standout was not joining a dynasty.
Thompson missed the whole 2019-20 season after tearing his ACL in the championship series, while Durant had left Golden State for Brooklyn. To make matters worse, Curry was sidelined for all but five games due to a hand injury.
Poole, to put it bluntly, struggled to create an impact on the court. In 57 games, he scored 8.8 points on 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 27.9 percent from 3-point range. He missed 19 consecutive field goal tries at one point in December 2019. He spent time in both the G League and the NBA. In ESPN’s Player Efficiency Rating statistic, he was ranked 90th out of 94 NBA shooting guards.
Despite his poor performance in his rookie season, Poole remained focused on the broader vision and continued to train with Warriors assistant coach Chris DeMarco despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We had some injuries, so a lot of our younger guys had to play a lot of minutes,” DeMarco explained. “But he had moments of brilliance, and he was a basketball fanatic. He’s a hooper, after all. Those athletes will continually endeavour to improve their game and find new ways to do so.”
Jordan Poole improves in his second year
The Warriors didn’t have much faith in Poole moving into the 2020-21 season, signing Brad Wanamaker to serve as Curry’s primary backup. Poole wasn’t seen to be capable of leading the second unit from the point guard position at the moment, and Golden State preferred to rely on a veteran.
Poole spent another season in the G League, this time with the Santa Cruz Warriors, averaging 22.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Bob Myers, the president of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors, was delighted with his performance.
Poole had a great finish to his sophomore season after being brought back up to the main roster, averaging 14.7 points on 43.3 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent shooting from outside the arc in his last 36 games.
On May 14, he produced a 38-point performance against the Pelicans, leading the Warriors to a 125-122 victory.
Jordan Poole takes a big step forward
Poole has even progressed from the NBA regular season to the playoffs. Poole is now a member of the Golden State Warriors’ new “Death Lineup,” which includes Curry, Green, Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins.
What’s the terrifying part? Poole is still in the nascent stages of his career. He’s only shown Warriors fans a little portion of what he’s capable of: passing, playmaking, and “baby Steph” moments.
Poole at the height of his powers? That’s a another horror altogether.