Warriors

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole not a fan of social media, prefers movies

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole not a fan of social media, prefers movies

SAN FRANCISCO – Tweet at Jordan Poole, praise or criticism, and then wait for his reply.

Keep waiting.

Wait some more. Days. Weeks.

It will eventually become apparent there will be no reply. Poole is ignoring you – and everybody else. Don’t take it personally, for the Warriors’ first-round pick in the June draft is not like the others. Born in 1999, he’s the un-Millennial.

He is not on Twitter.

“Social media is too much,” Poole said Saturday after practice. “All of it. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. What else? Twitch. What else? YouTube.

“I used to have it in high school. I stopped Snapchat in high school. I stopped Twitter going into college. I have Instagram now, occasionally just to watch videos. Cat videos and stuff.”

If this seems, um, insular, it’s by design. Poole would rather sleep, or watch movies on Netflix or Hulu, than put his thumbs to work on social media.

If this seems, um, idiosyncratic, it’s because it is. When most of his veteran teammates are watching news or current events on personal flat-screen TVs in each cubicle, Poole’ s eyes are on “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

“I’m 20,” he explained. “They’ve got families and stuff. And kids. I don’t have any of that stuff. I just kind of be me. I’m supposed to be a junior in college.”

Instead, the 6-foot-5 guard, a Milwaukee native who spent two years at the University of Michigan, is part of the influx of youngsters added to a roster that no longer has such accomplished veterans as Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

Poole is playing for a high-profile NBA team and living the California dream.

“One hundred percent,” he said. “Being here, in San Francisco, it’s the most ‘me’ vibe. You can always be yourself. Be unique. It’s really chill. Laid back. If there is any place I was supposed, it would be California.”

In that regard, Poole is a bit like one of his new teammates. Though Klay Thompson spent most of childhood in suburban Portland, Ore., is there any doubt he was made for California?

In another regard, Poole is almost exactly like Thompson. He also brings a gunslinger mentality to the basketball court and, based on early impressions, also has the skill to back it up.

“Jordan right now is a shooter. And a cutter; I love his cutting ability,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see if he can pass, as he develops as a player.”

“But I don’t think of him as Shaun or Andre. I think of him as a very young version of Klay. Can we help develop him defensively and maintain that confidence he has on offense?”

With only two preseason games on his NBA resume, Poole is a virtual lock to be in the team’s rotation. As much as he recognizes the success and respects the ability of team leaders Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, Poole also is firm in his belief he is ready to make an impact on a playoff team.

Particularly on offense.

“If I’m open, I’ll shoot it. If I’m hot, I’ll shoot it,” he said. “Just make the right play. That’s something that comes pretty easy if you have good IQ. Everybody on this team has a good IQ.

“I’m beyond blessed,” he added. “Anybody who comes here should be beyond blessed. Being able just to learn from everybody in this organization. Everybody wants to get better. Everybody wants to learn. Everybody has a lot to teach because they’ve been so successful. I feel like my game fits this team more and this organization perfectly.”

Teammates and coaches have been suitably impressed with Poole’s work ethic that they’re already anticipating his contributions.

“He’s really advanced,” Green said Thursday night, after Poole scored 19 points in 21 minutes in a win over Minnesota. “He’s very good with the basketball and he can shoot it, which is obviously at a premium in this league today. But he can really create shots for himself and can really stretch and space the floor out.”

Poole credits his impetuous youth for his ability to find buckets. He generally played against bigger, older kids, forcing him to strive for his best. To stay on the court, he had to be tough – even though he was thin – and find creative ways to flourish.

[RELATED: Why Warriors should trade Evans]

In preparation for the rigors of the NBA, Poole has added about 20 pounds over the past four months, going from 185 to 205. He admits to having “a chip on my shoulder,” and that it might have increased in size on draft night, when some observers questioned whether he deserved to go in the first round.

“I’ve been getting that since I was young, bruh,” Poole said. “It’s just keep my head down and grind.”

Keeping his down is one thing Poole shares with his age group. Except he’s not staring into his phone.

Warriors vs. Grizzlies watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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USATSI

Warriors vs. Grizzlies watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

In a battle featuring two teams in different stages of rebuilding, the foundering Warriors face the suddenly resurgent Grizzlies on Tuesday at FedEx Forum in Memphis.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 5:10.

The Warriors (2-12) own the longest losing streak in the NBA this season, seven games, dating back to Nov. 6. It’s their longest string of defeats since April 2012, when they lost eight in a row.

Though the Warriors have not lost a season series to Memphis since 2012-13 (0-3), they have lost at least once at FedEx Forum in 11 consecutive seasons, including each of the last three.

The Grizzlies (5-8), early in a full rebuild, opened the season losing five of their first six games under first-year coach Taylor Jenkins. They are showing signs of improvement, though, going 4-3 since then. They have won three of their last four.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F  Eric Paschall
F  Draymond Green
C  Willie Cauley-Stein
G  Glenn Robinson III
G  Ky Bowman

Grizzlies

F  Jae Crowder
F  Jaren Jackson Jr.
C  Jonas Valanciunas
G  Dillon Brooks
G  Ja Morant

 

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain), G Damion Lee (right hand non-displaced fracture), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (right ACL rehab) are listed as out.

Grizzlies: G Grayson Allen (left ankle soreness) is listed as out. F Andre Iguodala is not with the team.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Whether Warriors coach Steve Kerr stays with the unusual lineup that started Sunday in New Orleans (with Green starting at PG) remains to be seen. The slow start in that game (down 10-2 after three minutes, trailing by as much as 14 in the first half) could force a more conventional approach ... Undrafted rookie PG, who had 19 points and four assists in 28 minutes off the bench, made a strong case for starting, particularly with fellow rookie Morant at the point for Memphis ... Though rookie SG Jordan Poole remains mired in a shooting slump, the Warriors are encouraged that it has not affected his defense. The effort is there on that end, and the belief is his shots could start falling any day now ... Today’s player availability count: Nine.

Grizzlies: Though the team is built around Morant, the overall No. 2 pick in the June draft, rookie SF Brandon Clarke (No. 21 overall) has been terrific off the bench, averaging 12.3 ppg and 21.9 mpg ... The Grizzlies lead the league in paint points, averaging 55.0 per game, and Valanciunas is a big reason for that. He has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games. Only two teams are more forgiving in the paint than the Warriors, whose opponents average 51.9 per game .. Picking up on the ball movement trend, the Grizzlies averaged 29.4 assists over their last seven games ... They also have made at least 10 triples in each of those seven consecutive games, matching a franchise record.

Officials: Kevin Scott (crew chief), Marat Kogut, Natalie Sago.

How young Warriors are making incremental improvements on defense

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USATSI

How young Warriors are making incremental improvements on defense

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- For much of the season, Warriors coach Steve Kerr has tried to find the anecdote to his struggling defense. 

The problem has been exasperated in the last month, as seven players have gone done with injuries, eliminating any hope of continuity. However, the undermanned unit has shown improvement over its last two games, giving Kerr hope going forward. 

"As a group, team and coaches have started to figure out what works well for this team and what we need to stay away from," Kerr said Tuesday afternoon. 

Seeds of optimism started in Friday's loss to the Celtics, when the Warriors held the Eastern Conference leaders to just 40 percent from the field, with Boston guard Kemba Walker making just 6 of his 19 shots. Two days later, the Warriors held the battered Pelicans to 41 percent from the field. More importantly, the league's worst interior defense has outscored their opponents 88-80 in the paint over the last two outings. 

For the last five years, the Warriors have used a switch-heavy defense, helping the unit become one of the best in the league. Over the stretch, Golden State finished in the top 10 in defensive rating in four of the five seasons. Now, with Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant gone -- and both Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney out of the lineup -- the Warriors are giving up nearly 120 points per game. 

"We were just giving up too many easy baskets early in the season," Kerr said. 

The Warriors defensive woes have coincided with its uncommon rash of injuries. The trend started on the eve of training camp, when 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. 

In the 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. Last week, two-way guard Damion Lee fractured his hand. All the while, one of the league's most vaunted defense has plummeted to last in the league. 

[RELATED: Bowman must adapt when Warriors are healthy]

However, the team still has shown moments of potential. A few weeks ago, the Warriors held the Charlotte Hornets -- one of the league's best 3-point shooting teams -- to just 17 percent from beyond the arc, taking a brief lead with just over a minute left in regulation. Two nights later, the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers, limiting guard CJ McCollum to just 37 percent from the field. 

Now, as they embark on their latest road trip, Kerr would like to see an improvement in the Warriors' perimeter defense. In Sunday's loss to the Pelicans, his team gave up 18 3-pointers, including six from sharpshooter JJ Redick. Still, for a team prioritizing development over wins at the moment, the defensive improvement is noteworthy.