Dieter Kurtenbach: The Warriors bet big on Jordan Poole. They can't afford to wait for his best game any longer

Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News on

Published in Basketball

When the Warriors signed Jordan Poole to a nine-figure contract extension before this season, it was with the belief that he would be the future of the franchise.

He might end up being that when his new contract starts after this season.

But the Warriors can’t afford to wait on Poole to find his best game any longer.

The Warriors need Poole to play like a $100 million player today if this team wants to make something of this 2022-23 campaign.

If the Warriors can’t get that, the offseason will be here in a matter of weeks, not months, and the Dubs’ front office (and whomever is running it) might take the extra weeks to re-assess the team’s long-term plans.

Now, the expectation for this season was never that Poole would need to make a leap. But the guard plateauing wasn’t expected, either.


Saturday night’s loss to the Grizzlies was the perfect encapsulation of Poole’s season: up and down, and all too often, down in the wrong moments. Poole provided positives in Memphis — brilliant makes, sharp decisions, even a couple of nice defensive possessions; his 17-point third quarter was outstanding, as he made nine free-throws in the frame.

But there were also more turnovers than assists, no-pass possessions, and countless blow-bys on the defensive end.

And while Poole helped keep the Warriors close to start the fourth, his two fourth-quarter turnovers and defensive struggles were critical in the Dubs going from down 3 in the final frame to losing by 14.

“I thought we could have done a better job early in the fourth of executing. I thought we got a little quick, took some ill-advised shots, and a couple of them led to transition 3[-pointers] for them,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It slipped away there the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.”


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