Despite only starting in three of his first 14 games, Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole continues to show that he’s just picking up where he left off in his breakout 2021-22 season. Poole has been hot this season off-the-bench and his output suggests that a breakthrough is looming.
On Monday, the inevitable happened as Poole took off and logged a season-high 36 points in the team’s 132-95 blowout victory over the San Antonio Spurs. It was beautiful scenery at the Chase Center and all signs point to Poole breaking into the Warriors’ starting lineup permanently.
However, Poole becoming a staple starter for Golden State still seemed far-fetched at this point for various reasons. Primarily, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr noted after Monday’s win that he’s not thinking about inserting Poole in the lineup over Klay Thompson.
Given the amount of talent Poole possesses, those reasons should be enough for him to consider leaving the Warriors for a team where he can soar higher.
Let’s take a quick look into that matter.
Jordan Poole will always be behind Klay Thompson
Undeniably, Thompson has already made his mark on the Warriors’ faithful. However, even Thompson’s numbers tell that it’s about time for Poole to finally escape under his shadow.
Thompson was ruled out on Monday’s clash with the Spurs due to Achilles tendon injury management. His health could be an issue once again this season. But prior to that, the five-time All-Star was already declining, having averaged 14.7 points per game on a 35% field goal shooting.
The most sensible call Warriors head coach Steve Kerr should make right now is to replace Thompson with Poole. If that will not happen soon, “Swaggy Poole” better start thinking about joining a team where there’s no Thompson blocking his way.
Steve Kerr is halting Jordan Poole’s rise
Kerr has already been asked about Poole’s case to be the Warriors’ regular starting shooting guard in the past. After the 23-year-old’s 36-point explosion on Monday, Kerr was quizzed to address the subject once again.
Despite the evident difference in Poole and Thompson’s trajectories this season, Kerr insisted that not one bit will change in Golden State’s starting lineup.
- Jordan Poole stats (2022-23): 17.1 PPG, 4.3 APG, 44% shooting, 35% 3-point
“No, it’s not something I’m thinking about,” Kerr said of Poole replacing Thompson in the starting five via Warriors reporter Kerith Burke. “Our starting five with Klay has been really good. I think the bigger thing is finding the right combinations off the bench.”
Needless to say, lack of coach’s support is the last thing Poole would want to have at this point. It is becoming more and more apparent that Kerr is sticking to his plans regardless of how exceptional Poole is. This could affect Poole’s rise and he shouldn’t let that carry on for the rest of the season.
JP looks good in Purple and Gold
As bizarre as it may sound, Poole seems to be a perfect fit for the Los Angeles Lakers, at least at the moment. With perennial All-Star guard Russell Westbrook on the bench, appointing Poole as a starter would be a wise move for the Lakers.
As for Poole, the idea is also good for his career as the Lakers are also a big market team like the Warriors.
Poole could be up for another incredible season with the Warriors. However, if Golden State isn’t the team that would allow him to reach his apex, then a switch may not be bad after all.