Warriors' Poole reveals key turning point to second season

Warriors' Steve Kerr, Jordan Poole

Jordan Poole erupted for a career-high 38 points in Friday’s 125-122 win by the Warriors over the New Orleans Pelicans at Chase Center.

This type of performance might have been hard to envision for Poole back in February, when he was developing his game at the G League bubble in Orlando. Following Friday’s career night, Poole joined “Warriors Postgame Live” to share the key turning point to his second NBA season.

“I just think when coach [Steve] Kerr told me that I’d gained his trust,” Poole said. “Especially as a young player, that’s huge to have the coach’s trust and to go out there and play the game. I wanted to get everybody else involved while still being aggressive. I’m just thankful to be here and we got to keep our momentum going.”

The Warriors selected Poole with the No. 28 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of Michigan showed flashes of potential in his first 15 appearances with the Warriors but averaged only 5.5 points per game, peaking with his 16-point effort on Jan. 30 against the Detroit Pistons. 

When the Warriors assigned Poole, Nico Mannion and Alen Smailagic to the Santa Cruz Warriors shortly after, Kerr said he wanted Poole to become more aggressive.

Poole torched the G League competition for a month and has maintained that scoring touch since rejoining the Warriors, averaging 14.7 points in 36 NBA contests since March 4.

RELATED: Kerr envisions Poole as Warriors' sixth man in 2021-22

Getting a vote of confidence from Kerr carries a lot of weight when you look at his resume. He won five NBA championships as a guard in his playing days, has led the Warriors to three titles and is known for his candor. 

Poole put in the work, but Kerr should be recognized for his ability to help unlock the second-year player’s potential. At this rate, Poole looks like he could be another draft day steal for general manager Bob Myers and Co.

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