Golden State Warriors: Jordan Poole struggling to find a groove early on

Golden State Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Golden State Warriors rookie Jordan Poole has struggled to get into a groove early on in his NBA career. Should this raise concerns about his future?

The Golden State Warriors‘ roster has been decimated by injuries as the team has stumbled out of the gate to a lowly 2-6 record to begin the season.

But if there’s been any silver lining to the team’s injury woes, it’s been the increased playing time for the organization’s young players.

With injuries mounting, players like second-round pick Eric Paschall and undrafted rookie Ky Bowman have stepped up in the absence of the Warriors sidelined all-stars and made a case to remain in the rotation once the team gets healthy.

Even someone like Damion Lee and veterans such as Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III have each shined in the increased playing time.

The same, however, could not be said for rookie first-round pick Jordan Poole.

Poole was selected 28th overall in this year’s draft in what was considered a bit of a controversial pick at the time. The Michigan product excelled in college as a shooter but remained very raw and inconsistent as an overall prospect.

And it’s that very inconsistency that has followed him to the NBA level.

Poole will have his ‘on-days’ and his ‘off-days,’ but he’ll always make sure to take his fair share of shots. And with players like that, the hope is that you end up seeing more ‘on-days’ than ‘off-days.’

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Unfortunately, that hasn’t exactly been the case for Poole through the first eight games of his career. Out of those eight games, we can objectively say that Poole was ‘on’ so to speak in just two of them.

Those two came courtesy of a 3-of-5 shooting night from three-point range in the team’s victory over the New Orleans Pelicans and a 7-of-13 night (4-of-7 from three) in the Warriors’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Apart from those two games, it’s been a really rough start for the rookie.

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In the six other contests, Poole hasn’t once shot over 25 percent from the floor and he’s reached double-digit points in just one other game.

And that game was hardly a cause for optimism as he shot an abysmal 3-of-16 from the field (2-of-9 from three) and was only bailed out by an 8-of-8 night from the free-throw line.

Unfortunately, his advanced metrics make his poor start look even worse.

Through his first eight games, Poole has “used” 109 offensive possessions which have resulted in just 82 points for the Warriors, per Synergy Sports Technology. A whopping 83 NBA players have “used” more than 100 possessions for their team this season, Poole included.

And out of all 83 players, Poole’s 0.75 points per possession ranks 80th with only Dwayne Bacon, Mike Conley, and Eric Gordon trailing him.

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Poole has been bad — put plain and simple — and it’s continuing to hurt his team. Obviously the plan was for Poole to shine in this increased playing time and gain some valuable experience early on in his career.

Unfortunately, it’s getting tough to play him for 25+ minutes a game given his performances.

That said, it’s still far too early to make any declarative statements. Poole is just 20-years-old and still only eight games into his NBA career. Besides, the Warriors knew the kind of player they were getting in Poole.

As magical as his shooting proficiency could be at times, he’ll quickly make you forget about that with a dreadful 20 percent shooting night. Poole is a frustrating player, but one that’s worth investing the time in to develop.

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It’s fair to be concerned about Poole’s early struggles, but nobody should be surprised.