Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall receive good lesson in first Warriors game

Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall receive good lesson in first Warriors game

SAN FRANCISCO -- Entering their first season in San Francisco in nearly five decades, the Warriors knew their growth would come from the youth on their revamped roster. 

With three draft picks, general manager Bob Myers bet on shooting in Jordan Poole, grit in Eric Paschal and promise in Alen Smailagic. In an otherwise listless 123-101 loss to the Lakers, Paschall and Poole gave a glimpse of what could be.  

"I thought they both played well," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "I thought they showed their skills and ability."

Poole showed flashes, scoring eight of his 17 points in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer. Despite just a week of training camp, he seemed to have a grasp on Golden State's motion offense. Midway through the second quarter, he received a cross-court pass from Stephen Curry, pump-faked and made a fadeaway jumper in front of the Warriors bench. A minute later, he ran the fastbreak alongside Draymond Green and finished the sequence with a 3-point shot.  

Meanwhile, Paschall played solid, finishing with 11 points and three rebounds on 3-of-7 shooting from the field. Prior to the game, Kerr praised Paschall's ability to guard multiple positions. By the end of the night, his defensive assignments ranged from Lakers forward LeBron James to big man Anthony Davis. 

"Eric really stands out physically out there," Kerr said. "He's a strong and physical kid and he's not afraid and he could play multiple spots defensively, so I thought both of them were good."

Six months ago, Paschall was competing for a third straight Final Four appearance with Villanova, playing against zone defenses and the structure of college basketball. Early in the second quarter Saturday night, James took a pass at half court, dribbled three times and barreled into Paschall's chest for an easy layup, emphasizing the rookie's steep learning curve. 

"It's kind of crazy," Paschall said. "You get told to go in the game and the first person you're guarding is Anthony Davis. It was cool to able to go out there and get some minutes and try to show that I want to play during the season."

While Paschal was learning rookie lessons, Poole was looking to become the team's third scoring option. By the end of the night, he tied for the team lead in attempts, listening to the urges of his veteran teammates.

"When you have [D'Angelo Russell] and Steph [Curry] and Draymond [Green], Klay [Thompson], Jacob [Evans III], everybody telling you to shoot the ball, that you're here because you can score. Shoot," Poole said. "I think it's simple. Obviously, take smart ones, but if you're open, don't hesitate."

Over the summer, Poole and Paschall have become inseparable. Prior to games, they work out on the floor at the same time. Last month, they hosted a basketball camp at Chabot College, taking turns blocking the shots of campers. Following the loss Saturday night, they wandered to the weight room that adjoins Golden State's locker room for an hourlong workout as tunes played off Poole's iPhone. 

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With the Warriors' future uncertain, Golden State's young core will be counted upon to make an impression early. As the season progresses, Poole and Paschall will go through a baptism by fire, something their veteran teammate Curry knows well. 

"You try to keep a straight face, but it's okay to have that kind of big-eyed moment where you're proud of yourself for making it to that point and you're amazed by what you see out on the floor," Curry said. "But at the end of the day, you want to compete and prove yourself and every rookie has to go through that." 

Warriors continue to ache from the most detrimental injury list in the NBA


Warriors continue to ache from the most detrimental injury list in the NBA

SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors left for Los Angeles on Tuesday shortly after posting an injury report that is the longest and surely the most team-altering in the NBA. It runs seven deep and includes three starters, two of them All-Stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Asked if he’d ever seen anything like it, coach Steve Kerr replied with a single word.

“No,” he said. “I’m not going to expound it either.”

Six weeks removed from training camp, only four players – Ky Bowman, Marquese Chriss, Jordan Poole and Glenn Robinson III – have escaped the trainer’s room.

With five games over an eight-day span beginning Wednesday against the Lakers in LA, here is an alphabetical status update on each player:

Curry: The two-time MVP and team focal point for the past seven seasons sustained a broken left hand on Oct. 30 and underwent hand surgery on Nov. 1, after which the Warriors announced he will be reevaluated in three months. When Curry addressed the media on Monday, he was wearing a heavy protective sleeve that runs from left hand to his forearm. He also disclosed that he will undergo a second operation in December to remove pins inserted in the original procedure.

Curry also was firm in announcing his intention to return sometime this season.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. Obviously not before February.

Jacob Evans III: The 6-foot-4 guard in his second season, who was expected to be in the team’s rotation, has missed the last eight games with left adductor strain.

“Jacob, from what I heard (Monday) talking with him directly and our training staff, is still at least a couple weeks away,” Kerr said.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. It likely will be at least a month before he returns, so around mid-December.

Kevon Looney: The 6-9 center-forward, scheduled to be at least a part-time starter, has not played since opening night, after which he was diagnosed with neuropathy, a condition related to the nervous system. It’s treatable but not necessarily curable. The effects of his condition might be permanent.

“He’s working out every day, getting some good work in,” Kerr said.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. The Warriors would be delighted if he returns next month. Looney might always have some level of restriction.

Damion Lee: The two-way guard, in his second season in that role with the Warriors, was diagnosed Tuesday with a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand. He is one of four players that played in each of the first 10 games.

“We’re hoping it’s just a few weeks,” Kerr said Tuesday.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. Barring complications, the second week of December is a reasonable expectation.

Alen Smailagic: The 19-year-old forward, drafted in the second round, sustained a right ankle sprain on the first day of training camp. He wore a boot for several weeks, but now is rehabbing.

“Smailagic told me he dunked today, which is a good sign,” Kerr said. “He was excited about that, so his ankle is improving.”

Timeline for clearance: He could be cleared for contact over the next 10 days and conceivably be available late during the Nov. 17-22 road trip.

Omari Spellman: The 6-9, 255-pound forward/center was playing well, particularly on offense, before spraining his left ankle last Saturday at Oklahoma City. He did not play Monday night and did not practice Tuesday. So, according to Kerr, Spellman is doubtful to play on Wednesday.

Timeline for clearance: Probably Friday against the Celtics. If not, he’ll go on the four-game road trip that begins Sunday at New Orleans.

Thompson: The five-time sustained a torn left ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and underwent surgery on July 1. He is rehabilitating and occasionally engaging in light one-on-one shooting sessions.

Timeline for clearance: He’s expected to miss at least another four months. There is optimism he could return in March. It’s typical for a player to sit out at least eight months – or as much as a year – after such surgery.

How Warriors' D'Angelo Russell is torching opponents in mid-range game

How Warriors' D'Angelo Russell is torching opponents in mid-range game

D'Angelo Russell is in the midst of his best stretch of basketball in his NBA career.

The numbers over his last four games are pretty incredible:

Steph Curry is out until February at the earliest and Klay Thompson just might miss the entire season.

As a result, Russell is the Warriors' focal point and the offense is running through him:

Coach Steve Kerr is making the right decision by letting the 23-year-old run things. Russell is most effective when the ball is in his hands, and he's probing the defense in high ball screen situations.

The 2019 Eastern Conference All-Star is a very good 3-point shooter, but his bread-and-butter (like Kevin Durant) is the mid-range game.

Among all guards last season, Russell made the second-most shots in the 10-to-14-foot range (113), and drilled them at a very impressive 50.7 percent clip (DeMar DeRozan went 128-for-300, which is just 42.7 percent).

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He's still finding success in that zone this year, but he's been even better from 15-to-19-feet:

Russell is bound to cool off at some point. But for now, just sit back and enjoy the "Dloading Show."

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