Jordan Poole scored seven points on 10 shots and missed each of his three tries from deep in his team’s Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, ending the Golden State Warriors’ brief playoff run struggling to the same damning extent he did throughout it.
He averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 assists per game in the playoffs, shooting 41.7% on twos and 25.4% on triples—rank inefficiency especially stunning because Poole blazed nets to 65.4% true shooting during the Dubs’ title run last year.
That inability to consistently create good looks for himself and his teammates was especially damaging because Poole remained a bright-red target for opposing offenses on the other end. He and Stephen Curry were mercilessly hunted by LeBron James in the second half of Game 6, helping the Lakers dictate the tempo as Golden State needed to push the pace to climb out of a double-digit hole.
In the end, these Warriors are who we thought they were throughout a revealing regular season. @ArmstrongWinter has in-depth reactions from Golden State’s familiar, season-ending loss.https://t.co/SCddJ6AcOE
— Warriors Nation (@WarriorNationCP) May 13, 2023
Needless to say, Poole’s all-around postseason performance simply wasn’t good enough, a reality he admitted the morning after the Dubs’ tumultuous season finally came to a close.
“It’s not always about scoring,” Poole said on Saturday of his effectiveness, per C.J. Holmes of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s about finding ways to help our team be successful.”
No doubt. The problem facing both Poole and the Warriors going forward is that he proved completely incapable of effecting the game in a positive manner when shots weren’t falling and he didn’t have the ball in his hands.
Can he become a more reliable playmaker and less exploitable defender going forward? That’s certainly Golden State’s hope. Poole doesn’t turn 24 for another month. His prime is still a couple years away.
But with Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson needing to win right now and Poole’s big-money extension kicking in next season, trading him this summer could be the Warriors’ most prudent big-picture shakeup from roster and salary perspectives.
Many tough decisions await Golden State in the offseason. How to manage Jordan Poole’s future looms largest among them.
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