Warriors' rookie Jordan Poole not worried about recent shooting slump

Logan Murdock

HOUSTON -- It's just after the first practice of his second road trip and Warriors rookie Jordan Poole isn't hearing any questions about his struggling jump shot. 

"I mean, I don't know how to answer that," Poole told NBC Sports Bay Area. "It's normal."

As of Friday, his shooting has been anything but ordinary. Entering, he's shooting just 26 percent through eight games, boasting just one game over 50 percent from the field. Worse, in a season marred by injuries, the rookie isn't afforded the opportunity to learn behind Golden State's all-star core. 

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"I mean of course you want to see shots go in," Poole admitted. "But it's never come to the point where I was like, 'I'm going to stop shooting.' All you need is one, two, a couple to go in, one good game."

For the first month of the season, Poole has struggled to find an offensive rhythm, making just 23 of his first 89 shot attempts. In Wednesday's loss to Houston, he finished just 2-of-11 on the night. 

The output has shown little of what Golden State scouted in college. At Michigan, he averaged 12 points, shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc in his senior, showing a habit of taking any shot available. Two years ago, his game-winning 3-pointer sent the Wolverines to the Sweet 16.  

After getting drafted to Golden State, his confidence continued in the preseason. In the preseason-opening loss to the Lakers -- with his team down double digits -- Poole scored eight second-quarter points to help cut the Lakers' lead to eight, garnering praise from teammates and coaches alike. A week later, Poole finished with 19 points in a win over the Timberwolves, including three 3-pointers, giving a glimpse of his offensive potential. 

These days, as Poole tries to find his jumper, Golden State's roster remains in flux. In the last month, the Warriors have lost all-stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell to injuries. Since last week, the Warriors have been playing with just nine players on the active roster, including two players on two-way contracts, forcing Poole into more minutes, something his coach believes is leading to unintended consequences. 

"I think it's a blessing and a curse to be in the position Jordan's in because he's going to play no matter what," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We only have nine guys. Everyone's going to play. And so that's a blessing on the one hand. It's a curse in that he can be a little overwhelmed out there too." 

"And he's not quite seeing the pictures yet at both ends. He's got to be a step quicker, and that will all come." 

Less than 24 hours after Poole's latest poor shooting performance, he doesn't seem to fret his future. Ask him about his shooting and he's quick to bring up the Curry two-game stretch three years ago, when he followed up an 0-of-10 performance with a league record 13 3-pointers in a win over the Pelicans. 

"And that's the greatest shooter of all time," Poole said. "So if you miss shots, you miss shots. But then if you start thinking, 'well, the next shot, I'm not making shots so I'm going to stop shooting,' then that's when you get in a situation that is really hard to fight out of." 

[RELATED: Andrew Bogut explains beauty of current Warriors]

Walking out of the Houston gym, onto the plane for a three-hour trip north to Minnesota, Poole has a plan to get out of his current slump. 

"Doing that got me here," he said. "Why would I change?"

Warriors' rookie Jordan Poole not worried about recent shooting slump originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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