For a few weeks, Steph Curry and Jordan Poole went up against or played with Avery Bradley as their Warriors teammate. On Tuesday night, things were a bit different.
The Warriors waived Bradley last Friday. Three days later, he was claimed by the Los Angeles Lakers and scored six points off the bench Tuesday night in the Warriors' 121-114 win. Four of those points came off Curry and Poole.
When addressing the defensive miscues on the bench, Curry showed his leadership and faith in his new backcourt mate.
The Athletic's Marcus Thompson reported Curry said “If we’re going to be great, me and you have got to hold each other accountable."
“I’m too damn old to be making that mistake and you’ve got to learn how to not make the mistake," Curry added, according to Thompson.
Following the win, Poole earned plenty of praise for his offensive spark in the second half -- where he scored 16 of his 20 points. But coach Steve Kerr reminded reporters the young guard has a lot to improve on, and used the Bradley mistake as Example A.
"Now we've got to work on not letting Avery Brady back-cut him for a 3 and plays like that, and he knows it," Kerr said. "I'm gonna stay on him and keep mentioning those plays to you guys so that he can read it too, because that's what separates a championship-type player from a guy that scores a lot of points.
"That's what it's gonna take from him. He's got to lock-in on the other end."
Poole always will be a score-first option. It's what he brings to the starting lineup with Klay Thompson out, and what he gave the Warriors against the Lakers when Curry wasn't on the court.
More importantly, Kerr and Curry know Poole isn't just the little brother running around the practice court anymore. In his third year as a pro, he's starting out as Curry's partner and quickly turned into a third Splash Brother during his breakout performance in the preseason. Even when Thompson returns, the Warriors still will turn to Poole in key moments.
If Poole and the Warriors want to reach the level of play they desire, their newest starting shooting guard can't be one-dimensional. Poole has to make an impact on offense and defense, but only for positive reasons.