Jordan Poole had a rough night in Game 6 of the first round of playoffs against the Kings, missing layups, getting blocked shots, and playing poor defense. Despite seeing an opportunity for a highlight-worthy dunk, Poole failed to reach the rim and ended up with a missed floater, resulting in a fitting ending to his struggles.
Poole finished with only seven points on 2-for-11 shooting, three fouls, and a minus-14 plus-minus in 26 minutes. This performance could haunt young players, especially on such a big stage. Despite the Warriors’ support for Poole during postgame news conferences, his new $140 million contract raises expectations for his future performances.
His poor body language and lack of a “next-play mentality” were also concerning. Poole’s struggles on the court are amplified by the $140 million, four-year contract extension he signed, which will take effect next season.
Fans took to twitter to comment on his performance and said “How ass is Jordan Poole” and “@warriors Every time Poole got the ball 8/10 he’s going to turn that mf over like broooo be playing like he’s in high school when game matter”
As a result, he could be relegated back to a bench role in Game 7. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said, “Jordan never really got going tonight, unfortunately. He got a little frustrated early…just a frustrating night for him.”
While Poole has been nursing a sprained left ankle over the past few games, his bad body language on Friday was just as problematic as his mistakes.
Stephen Curry subtly held Poole accountable, saying, “The biggest thing for all of us, JP included, is that next-play mentality that is so important at this level.” Klay Thompson also offered support, stating, “He could come out and get 30 effortlessly on Sunday.
He’s got to keep his confidence up.” The question now is whether Poole can bounce back before the Warriors’ season ends. If not, the team might have to consider whether he should still be in their plans.
The Warriors are hoping that Poole learns from his mistakes and improves rapidly, or he might not live up to expectations, and his contract might be considered a financial burden to the team. A payroll crunch should force Warriors management to part with a big salary this summer, and Poole could emerge as the top candidate if he keeps struggling. The implications of Poole’s poor performance are that the Warriors might have to ask themselves if he still should be in their plans.
The Future of the Warriors: Can Jordan Poole Step Up and Fill the Shoes of Curry?
The Golden State Warriors face a daunting challenge as they head to the Golden 1 Center for Game 7 against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Despite winning Game 5 in Sacramento, the Warriors’ poor road record in the regular season means they cannot rest on their laurels. However, the Warriors have been in four Game 7s during the Splash Brothers era and have a 50-50 record.
In addition to the team’s success, individual players such as Jordan Poole need to step up their game. Poole has not been impressive in the assists department and needs to improve his playmaking skills if he hopes to become Curry’s understudy. He must also focus on his shooting, as he only averaged seven points, zero rebounds and one assist in 26 minutes during Game 6.
Despite the challenges, the Warriors have a solid record in Game 7s during the Splash Brothers era. They lost to the LA Clippers on the road in 2014 and suffered a devastating upset in the 2016 NBA Finals. However, they beat the OKC Thunder on the road in the 2016 West finals and came back to beat the Houston Rockets two years later in the West finals. With this in mind, the Warriors will look to their experienced players and rising stars like Poole to secure a victory in Game 7 and advance to the next round of the playoffs.