Jordan Poole shows why Warriors took him in first round of NBA Draft

Jordan Poole shows why Warriors took him in first round of NBA Draft

Why did the Warriors select Jordan Poole with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft?

"We drafted him for his ability to put the ball in the basket," coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Golden State's 123-101 loss to the Lakers on Saturday night. "You can see his confidence."

Yes, yes you can. It is oozing.

The rookie out of Michigan scored 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting overall. He went 4-for-9 from 3-point territory.

The moment was not too big for the 20-year-old, as he showed great poise:

Poole primarily is going play off the ball in the NBA, but he can get his teammates involved as well. He had 12 games as a sophomore with at least three assists.

But don't get it twisted -- his role will be to provide instant offense off the bench.

"He can shoot it, and he should continue to shoot it," Steph Curry told the media. "Take good shots. We need sparkplugs all up and down the roster. He can shoot the ball. He works at it and he's not shy.

"You can always reel people back in. You can't really tell a guy who doesn't have confidence to just get confidence. You're either born with it or not."

Love this quote. It's similar to how Warriors general manager Bob Myers -- when discussing Draymond Green's passion over the years -- has repeatedly said that he would rather have a player who cares too much than not enough.

Poole's confidence has gotten him this far, and he's going to need to lean on it throughout his rookie season if/when he's in a slump.

[RELATEDHow Chriss showcased skillset in impressive Warriors debut]

It's what enables him to do stuff like this:

We're not going to overreact to one exhibition game and say Poole is destined for NBA stardom. But we are going to say that he passes the eye test and looks like a guy who belongs.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Warriors’ still-mounting injuries a big blow to young players’ development

Warriors’ still-mounting injuries a big blow to young players’ development

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the waning moments of the Warriors' latest loss Friday night, their bench resembled the front row of a fashion show more than a functioning NBA roster.

Toward the end of the bench, All-Star guard Stephen Curry sat in a black suit jacket, covering a massive cast protecting his broken left hand. To Curry's left, center Kevon Looney sat in a gray suit, his immediate future in peril as he continues to seek answers about an injured hamstring.

That type of visual has become commonplace over the last month.

Over that stretch, 11 Warriors players have been sidelined with injuries, crippling a roster that seemed armed with an outside shot of making the playoffs on opening night just three weeks ago.

The latest blow came Saturday morning, when an MRI confirmed that D'Angelo Russell had suffered a sprained thumb, sidelining him for at least two weeks. Over his previous six games, the guard had averaged 29.7 points on 48 percent shooting from the field, including a 52-point, nine-rebound performance against Minnesota, so his absence will be felt.

That's because the Warriors are in roster transition, marked by their youthful core.

When Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall were drafted in June, the expectation was that the rookies would be brought along slowly, learning behind Golden State's battered All-Star cast. The myriad injuries changed that, though, forcing both into more minutes than initially anticipated.

While Paschall has flourished in that spot (15.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 30.8 minutes per game), Poole has struggled. Since Curry's injury in the fourth game of the season, Poole has shot 29 percent from the field, and he has hit just five of his last 28 shots over his last two contests.

The trickle-down effect started on the eve of training camp, when Warriors general manager Bob Myers announced that center Willie Cauley-Stein would miss most of October with a foot strain. Two days later, rookie Alen Smailagic rolled his ankle and Looney strained his hamstring in the same controlled scrimmage.

Last month, Curry broke his hand, sidelining the guard until at least February. Two nights later, forward Draymond Green tore a ligament in his left index finger. On Monday, two-way guard Damion Lee fractured his hand.

Amid all those injuries, Warriors coach Steve Kerr trotted out his ninth starting lineup of the season Friday, with two-way guard Ky Bowman at the point. For a moment, it worked.

Midway through the third quarter, Bowman intercepted a pass, ran cross court and dunked over Grant Williams, cutting the Celtics' lead to three. Two minutes later, Alec Burk stripped Boston guard Brandon Wanamaker, setting up a fast-break layup that gave Golden State a brief 82-80 lead before the Celtics rallied and held on in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors' current reality is much different than their immediate past. After winning 78 percent of their games over five years, they now find themselves with a roster that lost Kevin Durant to free agency, while Curry and Klay Thompson's rehabs are expected to last until at least February. Their 2-11 record is the NBA's worst.

[RELATED: How die-hard Warriors fans can stay optimistic]

Minutes after the final buzzer Friday, there were reminders of potential hopes lost. Curry's hand swelled out of his cast as he walked near a team official. In the locker room, Paschall sported an ice pack on his right hand, and Poole reconciled an ankle injury that he said wouldn't affect him.

As the Warriors packed for another road trip, potentially with just eight healthy bodies for the foreseeable future, another reminder that the team's development is coming at a hefty price was evident.

Warriors' D'Angelo Russell out at least two weeks with right thumb sprain


Warriors' D'Angelo Russell out at least two weeks with right thumb sprain

Add another one to the list.

After leaving Friday night’s loss to the Celtics with a thumb injury, an MRI has confirmed a right thumb sprain for All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell.

Russell will not travel with the team on the upcoming four-game road trip and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Golden State’s already lengthy injury report adds another name, as the team now stands with just nine healthy players as the team embarks for New Orleans on Saturday to kick off the trip.