Jordan Poole changes Warriors’ classic dynamic, dazzles vs. Nuggets in Game 1
Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry played more together tonight (14 minutes) than they had otherwise the last three seasons combined (11 minutes). In those 14 minutes, the Warriors outscored the Nuggets by 10 – a +34-per-48-minutes pace. With Golden State up big in the fourth quarter, that longtime big three excited together to a loud ovation.
Just like old times?
Jordan Poole – who arrived after the Warriors’ NBA Finals run ended – scored 30 points in his playoff debut to lead Golden State to a 123-107 win over Denver in Game 1 of their first-round series Saturday.
Both teams have plenty to figure out before Game 2 Monday.
The Warriors must set a lineup accounting its old stars and its breakout player. A rusty Curry scored 16 points in 22 minutes off the bench in his first game back from a foot injury. The team’s best player, Curry can’t remain a reserve for long. Green (12 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three blocks) played his customary quietly highly effective game this time of year. Thompson (19 points) holds a stature within this organization. A consistent improver throughout his career, Poole has also earned a prominent role. The moment clearly isn’t too big for him.
It seems Golden State will have time to assess all the possible combinations. If one game is an indication, this will be a long playoff run.
The Nuggets’ issues are more pressing. The Warriors made it a long night for potential MVP Nikola Jokic, who was frequently dragged into actions defensively. Looking exhausted at times, Jokic scored 25 points but needed 25 shots.