Warriors' Jordan Poole embracing 'learning process' of NBA playoff slump

Poole embracing 'learning process' of ongoing playoff slump originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jordan Poole’s playoff slump has become a growing concern, but the young Warriors guard is trying to keep his head down and his confidence up throughout the struggles.

It hasn’t been easy, and talking about it surely is the last thing the 23-year-old wanted to do after Golden State’s Game 4 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday at Arena. After the postgame tension died down in the Warriors’ locker room, though, Poole opened up to the San Francisco Chronicle’s C.J. Holmes about how he handles adversity.

“Stay down until you come up,” Poole told Holmes. “In life, there’s always going to be tough times. It’s never going to be sweet. Take it for what it is. Learn from it. But you always have to be yourself. You can only control what you can control. In the long run, no one is going to look back at 2023 in May, really. It’s a learning process, but you just take it for what it is.

“You learn from every stage, every little challenge. And I have the Lord on my side more than anything and everyone knows that. I got him on my back and I’m going to get through anything. Shoutout to my parents. Just have to be mentally tough. Nothing’s going to be easy. Nothing’s going to be sweet.”

After averaging 17.0 points on 50.8-percent shooting in 27.5 minutes played per game last postseason, the fourth-year guard is averaging just 10.5 points on 34.2-percent shooting during Golden State’s current playoff run. His minutes drastically have decreased, too, going scoreless in just over 10 minutes played in Monday’s loss.

He scored a total of 11 points over the Warriors’ last three games on 5-of-19 shooting from the field and 0 of 8 from behind the arc, with seven turnovers in that same time span.

Poole showed a glimpse of life in the Western Conference semifinal opening game against Los Angeles last week, but his struggles persisted thereafter.

His disappointing playoff showing thus far has been the talk and, at times, the screaming plea of Warriors fans frustrated by his performance. But Poole told Holmes that he hasn't let the noise get to him.

And while some of the more understanding and patient Warriors fans have suggested there might be something personal going on with Poole, he told Holmes that he doesn't have anything going on off the court that is affecting his play.

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Poole understands perhaps better than anyone that the highs and lows are all a part of the game, but he's embracing the process for what it is and is willing to learn along the way.

“There’s a lot more to it than scoring the ball,” Poole said. “There’s a lot of stuff that people don’t see, a lot of dynamics. Teammates have to get shots. You have to sacrifice, honestly. A lot of people don’t really understand. They’ve never been here. They haven’t been on this stage.

"Everybody has their own opinion. Just because I have a Macbook doesn’t mean I know how to write programs. You have to keep it in here, keep a mental note.”

Golden State dug itself into a three-games-to-one series deficit to LeBron James and Co., and the defending champions surely could use their meme-worthy and explosive Poole Party guard to stay confident and ready if they hope to bounce back and advance to the Western Conference finals.

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