With preseason basketball already underway, one player on the Golden State Warriors who has stood out is 3rd year guard, Jordan Poole. According to a tweet by Anthony Slater, head coach Steve Kerr has been very impressed with the growth in his game, telling reporters before Wednesday night’s preseason win against the Denver Nuggets that Jordan Poole will be the starting shooting guard until Klay Thompson comes back from injury.
To clarify: Until Klay returns https://t.co/NoDqkKgJOI— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 7, 2021
Jordan Poole showed flashes at the end of last year and looks to have carried that momentum into the upcoming season as evidenced by his strong performances in the first 2 preseason games. In his 22 minutes of the first preseason game, Poole stuffed the stat sheet scoring 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting, 7-of-12 from 3, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. During the second preseason game, Poole’s hot shooting cooled off as he went 1-of-6 from 3, however he made up for it by putting consistent pressure on the rim which opened things up for the rest of the offense. He finished the game with 17 points, 6-of-14 shooting, 3 assists, and 1 rebound in 23 minutes.
For the Warriors, Poole’s development will go a long way towards making them title contenders this season. Besides the benefits he brings on the court, Poole’s ascent into a significant role on the team allows the Warriors to bring Thompson back slowly as he recovers from his achilles injury. Thompson is definitely a starter on this team when healthy, but a torn achilles is notorious for being among the most difficult injuries to recover from for basketball players and athletes in general. They often cost the athlete a full year of playing and even then, they usually never come back the same. On the other hand, Kevin Durant is a recent example of a basketball player who had the benefit of a longer, more patient recovery than the conventional one year off. The additional rest seems to have helped Durant as he returned to playing basketball looking like his pre-injury self.
With the luxury of Poole’s rapid growth, the Warriors can confidently play him in the starting lineup. This would alleviate some of the pressure to rush Thompson back to full-time minutes right away, thus benefitting both his and the team’s long-term success.