Warriors Notes: Poole, Curry, Starting Five

Warriors forward Draymond Green and head coach Steve Kerr both expressed surprise this week when Jordan Poole wasn’t included among the three finalists for the Most Improved Player award.

As Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, Kerr called Poole’s omission “shocking,” though he acknowledged that All-Star guards Ja Morant, Darius Garland, and Dejounte Murray are all “worthy candidates.” Green conveyed his disagreement in stronger terms, per Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“If Jordan Poole isn’t the Most Improved Player, then the NBA really needs to relook at their process. Because you cannot find a guy on that list that has made a bigger improvement,” Green said. “I don’t care. If he’s not the Most Improved Player, then let’s rename the award to … who we like the most, who we see as more electrifying, to who we see may have a bigger impact on our team.

“That’s not the name of the award, that’s actually the Most Valuable Player, and so if we’re talking about the Most Improved Player, and if the award was voted on based upon its name, then it’s a no-brainer who’s the Most Improved Player.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Once Stephen Curry‘s protégé, Poole is turning into a legitimate co-star for the two-time MVP, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “He’s been watching Steph a lot,” Green said, “and he’s doing his best impression. And it is incredible.” President of basketball operations Bob Myers agreed with Green’s assessment: “Realistically, the engine is Curry. And now you’re seeing maybe twin engines. Which is fun.” Poole, who will be extension-eligible this offseason, has averaged 29.5 PPG on 65.5% shooting in the first two playoff games of his career.
  • Given how well Poole has played, the Warriors will have a tough lineup decision to make once Curry is ready to return to the starting five, writes Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area. If they want to start both Curry and Poole alongside Green and Klay Thompson, it would mean bringing either Andrew Wiggins or Kevon Looney off the bench.
  • Curry admitted after Game 2 on Monday that he’s still feeling some discomfort in his injured left foot, but said it “doesn’t matter,” adding that he’s committed to managing that discomfort through the playoffs (Twitter link via Kendra Andrews of ESPN).
  • In case you missed it, Warriors owner Joe Lacob discussed Poole’s emergence, Golden State’s championship hopes, and balancing the team’s veteran core with its young core, among other topics. Here are some of the highlights.
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