Warriors' rookie Jordan Poole not worried about recent shooting slump


Warriors' rookie Jordan Poole not worried about recent shooting slump

HOUSTON -- It's just after the first practice of his second road trip and Warriors rookie Jordan Poole isn't hearing any questions about his struggling jump shot. 

"I mean, I don't know how to answer that," Poole told NBC Sports Bay Area. "It's normal."

As of Friday, his shooting has been anything but ordinary. Entering, he's shooting just 26 percent through eight games, boasting just one game over 50 percent from the field. Worse, in a season marred by injuries, the rookie isn't afforded the opportunity to learn behind Golden State's all-star core. 

"I mean of course you want to see shots go in," Poole admitted. "But it's never come to the point where I was like, 'I'm going to stop shooting.' All you need is one, two, a couple to go in, one good game."

For the first month of the season, Poole has struggled to find an offensive rhythm, making just 23 of his first 89 shot attempts. In Wednesday's loss to Houston, he finished just 2-of-11 on the night. 

The output has shown little of what Golden State scouted in college. At Michigan, he averaged 12 points, shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc in his senior, showing a habit of taking any shot available. Two years ago, his game-winning 3-pointer sent the Wolverines to the Sweet 16.  

After getting drafted to Golden State, his confidence continued in the preseason. In the preseason-opening loss to the Lakers -- with his team down double digits -- Poole scored eight second-quarter points to help cut the Lakers' lead to eight, garnering praise from teammates and coaches alike. A week later, Poole finished with 19 points in a win over the Timberwolves, including three 3-pointers, giving a glimpse of his offensive potential. 

These days, as Poole tries to find his jumper, Golden State's roster remains in flux. In the last month, the Warriors have lost all-stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell to injuries. Since last week, the Warriors have been playing with just nine players on the active roster, including two players on two-way contracts, forcing Poole into more minutes, something his coach believes is leading to unintended consequences. 

"I think it's a blessing and a curse to be in the position Jordan's in because he's going to play no matter what," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We only have nine guys. Everyone's going to play. And so that's a blessing on the one hand. It's a curse in that he can be a little overwhelmed out there too." 

"And he's not quite seeing the pictures yet at both ends. He's got to be a step quicker, and that will all come." 

Less than 24 hours after Poole's latest poor shooting performance, he doesn't seem to fret his future. Ask him about his shooting and he's quick to bring up the Curry two-game stretch three years ago, when he followed up an 0-of-10 performance with a league record 13 3-pointers in a win over the Pelicans. 

"And that's the greatest shooter of all time," Poole said. "So if you miss shots, you miss shots. But then if you start thinking, 'well, the next shot, I'm not making shots so I'm going to stop shooting,' then that's when you get in a situation that is really hard to fight out of." 

[RELATED: Andrew Bogut explains beauty of current Warriors]

Walking out of the Houston gym, onto the plane for a three-hour trip north to Minnesota, Poole has a plan to get out of his current slump. 

"Doing that got me here," he said. "Why would I change?"

Steph Curry believes Sabrina Ionescu has basketball 'in great hands'

Steph Curry believes Sabrina Ionescu has basketball 'in great hands'

Two Bay Area legends were in attendance Friday night at Haas Pavilion when the University of Oregon women's basketball team played Cal. One was on the floor, and one was in the seats. 

Warriors star Steph Curry brought his two daughters, Riley and Ryan, to watch Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu. The Walnut Creek native recorded her 25th career triple-double as the Ducks downed the Bears, 93-61.

On Saturday, Curry paid his respects to Ionescu, who is a huge fan of the two-time NBA MVP.

"The game is in great hands," Steph wrote on Instagram, with a picture of him and Ionescu after the game.

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The game is in great hands 💪🏽

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Ionescu dropped 17 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in what was her seventh triple-double of her senior season. She is nine rebounds away from becoming college basketball’s first 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound, 1,000-assist player.

"The competitive nature that she has, you can't teach that," Curry told Pac-12 Network's Kate Scott. "She could be blessed with all the talent in the world, but if she didn't have that, she wouldn't be who she was."

Ionescu, who starred at Miramonte High School in Orinda before going to Oregon, is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft. She is averaging 17.1 points, 8.8 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game for the Ducks.

[RELATED: Curry says March 1 has 'always been' intended return]

While she's dominating on the floor, Ionescu certainly is excited for Curry's return to the court. Steph participated in his first live scrimmage at Warriors practice Saturday, after breaking his hand in the fourth game of the season, and he's eyeing a March 1 return to Golden State's lineup.

Basketball is in better hands when the two Bay Area legends are healthy and putting on a show in their sport. 

Watch Anthony Edwards, top NBA draft prospect, throw down poster dunk

Watch Anthony Edwards, top NBA draft prospect, throw down poster dunk

Anthony Edwards can get up and throw it down.

The Georgia shooting guard proved that Saturday, when he put Vanderbilt freshman Braelee Albert on an eye-popping poster with this ferocious slam.

Edwards scored 19 points to go along with his rim-rattling dunk, in an 80-78 comeback win over the Commodores. Georgia improved to 14-13 on the season with the victory, which came on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Edwards, a freshman, again showed why he could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He shot 7 of 16 from the field and also grabbed five rebounds. 

What really stood out, though, was Edwards' athleticism and vision on this play. 

Edwards, who doesn't turn 19 until August, has been questioned about his shot selection, but he's carrying the load on a Georgia team that isn't exactly full of NBA talent. It's just another reason why he could be an intriguing option for the Warriors in the June draft.

The majority of mock drafts currently have Golden State selecting Edwards with a top pick. He isn't a positional fit like Memphis center James Wiseman would be, but Edwards' athleticism and upside could be an instant boost. 

[RELATED: Should Warriors keep Wiggins if they win NBA Draft Lottery?]

Entering Saturday, Edwards was averaging 18.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. That's nearly what he dropped Saturday, as the 6-foot-5, 225-pound guard put his skills on display.

The Warriors surely have their eyes on every top draft prospect right now. Edwards' performance in a win over Vandy could vault him up their draft board, too.