Dubs Rookie Jordan Poole is Dishing
After adjusting to the NBA game to start the season, Jordan Poole has stepped up his play in the second half of his rookie season. Since Feb. 12, he’s been averaging 13.9 points on 1.9 three pointers made, which ranks him in the top 10 among NBA rookies, while scoring in double figures in 10 straight games prior to Thursday's matchup against the Toronto Raptors, the longest double-figure scoring streak of his career.
But what Dub Nation may have noticed as of late is not his increased scoring, but rather a drastic uptick in his assists: since Feb. 12, Poole has averaged 4.6 assists. Furthermore, he has dished 23 dimes over his last four games, including eight against the Los Angeles Lakers and six against the Denver Nuggets, two of the top three teams in the Western Conference.
Poole’s average of 4.6 assists since Feb. 12 puts him in some elite company, as the only other NBA rookie with more in that timeframe is NBA Rookie of the Year contender Ja Morant.
Poole was a known sharpshooter in his days at Michigan before being drafted, most well known for his game-winning buzzer beater in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament to upset Houston. But he had just six career games with four-or-more assists during his collegiate career, all of which came in his second and final season with the Wolverines.
But now in the NBA among some of the best athletes and in Coach Steve Kerr's system that stresses ball movement, Poole has had to adapt his game. There were some bumps along the way, but that did not worry Kerr as he noted after the Warriors Feb. 25 loss to the Sacramento Kings: “I think it’s just a typical rookie year. You learn a lot as you go.”
He added that as time goes on, “the game slows down a little bit and you just start to feel more confident.”
“I think that’s what I see with Jordan. He’s gained a lot of confidence since the beginning of the year. He’s worked hard and he’s done a good job,” said Kerr.
With the unique situation of the Warriors this year dealing with injuries to the starting backcourt and a rotation of players on 10-day contracts, Poole continues to play loose and adapt to the circumstances.
“We’re really just playing together and playing as a team, and we’ve been together, everybody, for a couple games, we continue to move pieces around and add pieces, but our pace has been really good and we’re just trying to play the right way.”
As the season has gone on, Poole has learned to play the right way under Kerr, and Dub Nation will continue to watch their first round pick grow up in front of their eyes through the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
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