Infuriating Jordan Poole succumbing to bad habits, failing to reach his potential

Exasperating JP is failing to deliver on promise, exuding bad habits originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

With four players from their ideal rotation unavailable Friday night in Atlanta, the Warriors desperately needed Jordan Poole to be at his best. This was an excellent opportunity for the X Factor to deliver.

And JP has remained in the same swamp that continues to separate him from his immense promise.

Entering with 6:09 left in the first quarter and the Warriors holding a 23-16 lead over the Hawks, Poole spent the rest of the quarter committing two turnovers, missing his only two shots, and expressing indifference to the transitional defense. It’s hard to go minus 15 in less than six minutes, but that’s what happens when your team trails 23-8 during that time.

Things got better for JP after the terrible start, but he never caught fire like he sometimes did. He had 4 more in the third quarter, scoring eight points, but 5 less in the quarter with only two free throws as Golden State’s comeback failed, resulting in a 127-119 loss.

“We had some tough plays,” head coach Steve Kerr told reporters in Atlanta. “We had some twists in the final stretch too. We had some plays that we would have liked to have back. But you can always say that at the end of every game.”

For his part, Poole finished with 12 points, on 4 of 12 shooting from the field, including 2 of 8 from deep, with four assists, three turnovers, two rebounds and scored minus 11 in 24 minutes.

It’s not good, but that’s where JP has been lately. He was minus 4 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, plus 12 against the Phoenix Suns on Monday, minus 11 against the Milwaukee Bucks last Saturday, minus 33 against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 9 in Memphis and minus 3 against the Thunder two days before that in Oklahoma City.

That’s a cumulative minus 50 over the last six games, the exasperating JP.

He was a cumulative plus-67 in the previous five games, the brilliant JP.

He had minus 40 cumulative points in five games prior to that. Exasperating.

That has been Jordan Poole’s experience this season, a zigzag trajectory, a perfect illustration of inconsistency. And it’s presumptuous and perhaps inaccurate to attribute that to Draymond Green’s spasm of preseason violence. JP is a marksman whose overall efficiency – even from the foul line – is considerably lower than last season. Turnovers are increasing and many are the result of excessive dribbling or individual shifts in heavy traffic.

Poole is too talented, too gifted, to accept being defined by his bad habits. But these bad habits keep resurfacing and are harmful to him and the warriors.

Coming to Atlanta was a chance for JP to start fixing things. The need for her shine was high. Andrew Wiggins is on leave, Draymond Green served a one-match suspension, Gary Payton II was in normal clothes and Andre Iguodala is awaiting surgery on his left wrist. Their absence created a huge void in production.

Stephen Curry contributed 31 points, six rebounds and five assists. Klay Thompson contributed a career-high 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Kevon Looney posted a career-high regular season 18 points, 16 rebounds and a season-high four blocks. Steph and Klay split 12 laps evenly, clearly forcing passes in hopes of starting the action, but the veterans left pieces of themselves on the State Farm Arena floor.

Meanwhile, the Warriors’ bench was outscored 50-27. A backup guard named AJ Griffin has done more for the Hawks, particularly on defense, than JP has done for the Warriors.

The result was, well, Golden State’s 10th straight loss.

“The union needs to be a little more present”, said Donte DiVincenzo. “But it’s hard when you have (only) 10 guys. Dray was out. Andre and Wiggs. Gary. It’s tough.

“But we still have the firepower to win away games. Tomorrow is a great opportunity to recover.”

Oh, tomorrow. That would be Saturday in Memphis, where the Warriors will face the Grizzlies, who happen to be the most irritating of their opponents.

RELATED: Kerr Still Believes Something Good Will Happen to the Warriors

The veterans prepare to play on the second night of back-to-back. The Warriors are going to need their youngsters more. It’s another chance for JP to bring the firepower referenced by DiVincenzo. The need for this is urgent.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *