After scoring just 11 total points in Games 2 and 3, Warriors guard Jordan Poole had his worst game of the postseason on Monday vs. the Lakers. Playing a season-low 10 minutes, Poole went scoreless on 0-of-4 shooting and committed a pair of turnovers.
As Kerith Burke of NBC Sports Bay Area relays (via Twitter video), Poole was clearly frustrated when reporters approached him after the game and offered only brief responses to their inquiries. He deflected questions about his own play and focused on the fact that the Warriors will get a chance at home on Wednesday to start climbing out of their 3-1 hole.
While Poole isn’t one of Golden State’s superstars and shouldn’t necessarily bear the brunt of the blame for the team’s struggles in the series thus far, his “lack of playoff toughness and lack of interest” in speaking to the media about his performance make it seem like he’s “something less than a full partner in the Warriors’ operation these days,” writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. That’s troubling, given that the guard’s four-year, $123MM+ contract extension will go into effect this July.
In explaining his decision to only play Poole for 10 minutes on Monday, head coach Steve Kerr expressed confidence in the 23-year-old’s ability to bounce back later this week.
“It just wasn’t his night,” Kerr said, per Kawakami. “He didn’t have it going. It’s a game where you’re going possession by possession and we had other guys who were playing well. Moses (Moody) came in, did a great job. Donte (DiVincenzo) gave us good minutes. Gary (Payton II) obviously starting the game really gave us a lift. Just we went to other guys. That doesn’t mean Jordan can’t come in and play a big role in Game 5.”
Here’s more on the Dubs:
- The Warriors have come back from a 3-1 deficit once before in the playoffs with their current core, winning three straight games to steal the Western Conference Finals from the Thunder in 2016. They pointed to that series as one reason why they remain hopeful about their chances against the Lakers, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN.com. “We made history before,” Thompson said. “The goal is to win one at home. We know we are capable of taking care of home court. It’s about staying present and not looking ahead. It’s fun to reflect on the past and learn from it and take that same competitive energy that brought us back in the past to today.”
- There’s more at stake for the Warriors in this series than just the possible end of their season, notes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. President of basketball operations Bob Myers is on an expiring deal, Draymond Green holds a player option for 2023/24, and Klay Thompson is eligible for an offseason extension at the same time that the NBA is introducing a Collective Bargaining Agreement that introduces new limitations on the teams with the highest payrolls. In other words, a second-round exit could be the beginning of the end of Golden State’s dynasty, as the team faces an uncertain offseason.
- Having finished the season on a two-way contract, Warriors guard Lester Quinones has been ineligible to play for the team in the playoffs, but he’s thrilled with how 2022/23 played out, as he tells Joe DiProsperos of NBAGLeague.com. He was named the G League’s Most Improved Player and appeared in his first NBA game for the team he grew up rooting for. “To get (to the NBA) and be on the same team that I grew up watching my whole life, it’s just a blessing,” said Quinones, who will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer.