How Steph Curry, Draymond think Jordan Poole can improve for Warriors

How Steph, Dray believe JP can improve for Dubs moving forward originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

After a breakout 2021-22 campaign, Jordan Poole has yet to replicate last year’s success in the Warriors’ first 12 games of the 2022-23 NBA season.

There have been flashes, however, and Poole’s teammates Steph Curry and Draymond Green know the 23-year-old guard is well on his way to making adjustments that will help him succeed.

Because as Poole has experienced, with more success comes more people watching -- fans and opponents alike.

“That’s the evolution of being a scorer in this league, where no, you’re not going to surprise anybody by what you do,” Curry told reporters Friday night after Golden State’s 106-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Chase Center.

“They scout you, they game plan for you and talk about, before the game, a little bit more than just a one-liner of what your tendencies are. So you have to get the reps of seeing different defenses. Understanding that, again, I will keep saying let the game come to you as the biggest thing because you can’t fight that pressure, that attention.”

En route to his first championship, Poole averaged 17.0 points per game and shot 50.8 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from deep across 22 playoff games with five starts.

In early October, Poole was rewarded for his contributions to the team's fourth NBA title in eight seasons with a four-year, $123 million contract extension. And though it has only been just under a month of action, Poole’s shooting numbers this year are down compared to last season.

Poole is averaging 15.4 points, 4.8 assists and 1.7 rebounds on 41.1 percent shooting from the field and 32.1 percent from behind the 3-point line this season compared to last season (18.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 76 games played).

He rebounded from a four-shot, two-point performance Monday against the Kings to score 18 points against the Cavaliers, going 4-for-8 from behind the arc.

Donte DiVincenzo’s return to the rotation from a hamstring injury helped take some pressure off Poole against Cleveland, and playing alongside Curry as well allowed Poole to thrive as one of two point guards for much of his 33 minutes.

Green said Poole is making progress when it comes to getting the looks he wants in the face of increased defenders, but the evolution is a process that can take time.

“There are times where he’s coming down and he’s getting screens, and the whole defense is just loading up,” Green said Friday. “So having the ability to swing the ball from side to side, and then catch it on the backside and start attacking, I think that’s good for him.

“And it’s something that he has to grow into. You have that first great year like he had last year, and then teams study you all summer long … When he has the ball, the entire defense is loading up. That’s a compliment to him. That shows the fear that defenses have for you.

“Now his next step is to learn how to use that against them.”

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As Poole continues to grow and develop into one of the league’s top shooters, he has the added benefit of learning from Curry and Green, both four-time NBA champions.

And it’s clear they both know Poole has the talent to make that transition.

“Trust that even if you’re getting extra attention, you can get off of it, get it back and still get your shots and still get some looks,” Curry said of Poole. “The game will come around in your favor, but it’s just about getting the reps to understand what that really feels like.”