Jordan Poole is in a shooting slump.
Over the first five games of the season, the Warriors rookie shot 38 percent (11-for-29) from beyond the arc.
But over his last nine appearances, Poole is at a dismal 18 percent (9-for-50) from deep, and just below 24 percent overall.
"Jordan is a young guy, he should be a junior in college and he should be coming into a situation where he's getting shots of Steph Curry or Klay Thompson; or playing behind those guys, learning from them every day in practice," coach Steve Kerr told reporters after practice Tuesday. "Maybe making an occasional visit to Santa Cruz to get a lot of playing time.
"That's how ideally you want to raise a young guy, but we don't have that luxury. So we're throwing him right into the fire. He's working his tail off. He's doing a great job.
"This league is unforgiving for a young player. He's just gotta keep doing what he's doing. Keep watching film and keep learning from his experience. He's gonna get better.
"We have great faith in that because of his ability and his character. He'll get there but it's a difficult time for him for sure."
(Quick tangent -- Santa Cruz could have used Poole on Sunday as the Sea Dubs lost to the Salt Lake City Stars, 102-77).
The 20-year-old went 1-for-8 overall (0-for-5 on 3s) last Friday against the Celtics.
He was 0-for-7 from the field (0-for-3 on 3s) Sunday night in New Orleans, and when it rains it pours:
This is how you know things are going poorly for Jordan Poole: This missed shot should not have counted because there were 0.3 seconds on the clock (by rule, you need 0.4 seconds to catch and shoot). The rookie is shooting 26 percent on the season... pic.twitter.com/RpKPjZ403e— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 18, 2019
What's strange is that the Michigan product is getting good looks:
Jordan Poole from 3-point range when he's:— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 19, 2019
-"Open" = 23.8 percent (10-for-42)
-"Wide Open" = 29 percent (9-for-31)
But it hasn't been all bad for Poole.
"The one thing I'm really pleased with -- I think his defense has been much better," Kerr said. "He's starting to understand the NBA game and the schemes and the coverages. The things you have to do as a guard -- he's picking up on all those things.
"His defense is way better now than it was a month ago. That's a great sign and he's gotta stay with it."
Kerr is correct, and here are two examples from the Warriors' loss in Oklahoma City on Nov. 9 to prove it:
Jordan Poole is playing better defense than what was expected. Really nice strip of Gilgeous-Alexander on the drive, and then he gets the ball to Robinson for the layup in transition pic.twitter.com/RjOFegtY4t— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 11, 2019
Here's another nice defensive play by Jordan Poole = he gets in front of a downhill Gilgeous-Alexander in transition and takes the charge pic.twitter.com/1HQCN5VAd6— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 11, 2019
Additionally, Poole is averaging 2.4 assists over the last nine games.
But understandably so, the focus is on his shooting struggles.
"He's pressing. I know exactly how he feels," Kerr added. "I was in a similar circumstance as a younger player -- not getting this amount of playing time -- but my first year in the league feeling like, 'Man, this is totally different from college.'
"This is all brand new for Jordan and we're trying to help him through it."