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What we learned as Poole leads Warriors to preseason win

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Jordan Poole, Damian Lillard

Jordan Poole wants to be noticed, and he most assuredly was Monday night.

The third-year guard scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Warriors to a 121-107 win over the Trail Blazers in the preseason opener at Moda Center in Portland.

Three other Warriors scored in double figures, with Otto Porter looking sharp in totaling 19 points, while Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins each scored 13. Sixteen different Warriors played, none more than 22 minutes.

Here are three takeaways from a night when the Warriors attempted 69 3-pointers in the first of five dry runs:

The Poole File

Given the start alongside Curry in the backcourt, Poole had the kind of noisy game sure to increase his already substantial lead in the competition to start at shooting guard until Klay Thompson is cleared to play.

Taking full advantage of the license to be aggressive, Poole drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, 19 seconds apart in the first three minutes. It was, dare we say, very Klay-like.

Poole poured in 15 points and recorded four assists in 15 first-half minutes. He finished with 30 points (10-of-17 shooting, 7-of-12 from deep), five assists and five rebounds. He was a team-best plus-21 in 22 minutes.

Yeah, the 6-foot-3 Michigan product was pretty unstoppable.

Thompson won’t return before December, so coach Steve Kerr considers preseason an audition for those hoping to fill the void. Avery Bradley, Damion Lee and Mychal Mulder are worthy of consideration, but Poole blasted out of the blocks in his attempt to seize the role.

 

The Draymond File

Draymond Green’s first shot attempt was a statement unto itself, a 3-pointer from the left wing. No hesitation. Just catch, fire, swish, exactly as Kerr would like.

“We really like when he has that approach that he’s going to go out and get a few buckets,” Kerr said last week. “When he does that, we tend to be a better team.”

This is a dimension Kerr deemphasized last season, when he expressed no concern about Green’s lack of scoring. Draymond often was reluctant to shoot, even when open, perhaps because his 3-point shot steadily declined in efficiency, from a career-high 38.8 percent in 2015-16 to 27.0 last season.

Moreover, Draymond’s timid approach allowed defenses to play him for the pass, which resulted in more turnovers.

Thus, the change in tone. If Draymond, who scored seven points in 14 minutes, can shoot a few triples per game and become a scoring threat, it creates more spacing for his teammates.

The Rookie File

Both of Golden State’s teenage lottery picks, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, sat and observed the first half before taking the court after halftime.

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Neither made a strong impression in their first appearance against NBA players.

Kuminga, entering in the third quarter, finished with five points (2-of-6 shooting, 0-of-3 from distance) and two rebounds in 11 minutes. He also committed a couple turnovers.

Moody, entering in the fourth quarter, played only nine minutes and did not score, missing his only shot, a 3-pointer. He did record two assists without a turnover.

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