Giants

Kerr hoping Poole plays with 'force' in return to Warriors

Giants

Jordan Poole was one of the brightest stars in the G League bubble down in Orlando, Fla., finishing as the second-leading scorer among all players before the Warriors recalled him to the active roster this week.

The former first-round draft pick was buried on the Warriors' depth chart until he joined the Santa Cruz Warriors in the bubble last month. Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke to the media before Thursday night's clash with the Phoenix Suns and discussed what he'd like to see Poole build on from his success in the G League.

"Just the force with which he plays, he's got a lot of ability, he's a very skilled player and I think that showed in Orlando," Kerr told reporters. "He expanded his game a little bit and the whole key at this stage of anybody's career, when you're young and you're trying to prove it, there's just gotta be a level of force and competitiveness the entire game, the entire time you're out there, and what I mean by that is execution, you can't have any let-ups at either end, and that's the most important thing for Jordan.

"Just to compete through everything, to play with force, play downhill, be decisive and continue to do that the entire time he is on the court."

Poole potentially could see quite a bit of action in his first game back in a Warriors uniform, as the team ruled out Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Kelly Oubre for Thursday's game in Phoenix.

 

The Warriors will be going with an interesting starting five featuring Nico Mannion, who like Poole was recalled from the G League bubble earlier this week, along with Andrew Wiggins, Damion Lee, Juan Toscano-Anderson and James Wiseman.

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Poole averaged 22.4 points in 11 games with Santa Cruz, shooting 45.1 percent from the field, 32.4 percent from the 3-point line and 92.5 percent from the foul line.

Brad Wanamaker's struggles after coming to the Warriors in free agency have exacerbated the issues with the second unit, especially when it comes to having reliable playmakers outside of Curry.

Poole showed an ability to get his own shot and set up teammates for success in Orlando, but that was against G League competition. It will be a major step up in competition with the Suns, the No. 2 team in the Western Conference standings going into Thursday night's games.

The young guard has not lived up to the billing of being the No. 28 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, having been unable to establish a consistent spot in the Warriors’ rotation over his first year-and-a-half in the NBA.

Poole now has a prime opportunity to show how much he has grown as a player and prove that he can be the salve to the Warriors' second unit.

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