What is Jordan Poole’s encore?

What is Jordan Poole’s encore?

What Warriors fans can expect from Poole in 2022-23 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors’ 2021-22 season has become the year of the Poole Party with Jordan Poole’s campaign in San Francisco.

After shooting 27.9 percent from 3-point range as a rookie and then playing 11 games in the G League in Year 2, Poole dropped the word “bust.” That was the label given to him after the Warriors took him with the No. 28 pick in the 2019 NBA draft — a pick that many thought was a stretch — and he didn’t look like a real contributor for much of his first two seasons. But there were hints in his second season.

Upon his return from Orlando’s G League bubble, Poole averaged 18.5 points and shot 39.2 percent from three for the Warriors in 11 games in March. Steve Kerr warned us all in the offseason that Poole’s stay in the gym was going to pay off. He was right.

Last season, Poole proved to be more than just a contributing piece. At times he looked like a star, someone who can open new chapters in the Warriors’ dynasty. So what’s next?

Let’s take a look.

2022-23 Expectations

With Klay Thompson sidelined last year, Poole began the season as the Warriors’ starting shooting guard. He scored 20 points in the season opener, reached 30 points three times in his first 17 games and put up at least 20 points seven times in that span. Before Thompson returned from a two-plus year absence, Poole played in 32 games (29 starts) and averaged 17.5 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from the field. one hundred in three-pointers.

What about when Clay came back? Poole was actually better when the Splash Brother was in the mix.

In his final 44 regular season games (22 starts), Poole averaged 19.2 points and 4.4 assists while shooting 45 percent from the field and 38.3 from 3-point range. He averaged 13.6 shots from the field before Thompson completed his return and 14.1 after. Poole at the age of 22 has convinced us all that he can’t just be a third or second choice scorer, but that he can even be a first choice scorer if that is necessary.

For the public needing more proof, Poole averaged 26.0 points, 5.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds in the 13 games Steph Curry missed at the end of the regular season. Scoring at least 20 points seven times in the playoffs on a 65.4 true shooting percentage doesn’t hurt either.

Poole will be the Warriors’ sixth man this season, getting the starting nod in games where Curry and Thompson are unavailable. He averaged 18.5 points last season as someone asked to jump between starting and coming off the bench. For his fourth season, he could very well average 18 to 22 points. And looking at his numbers from a long way, those should be on the rise as well.

From Year 1 to Year 2, Poole increased his 3-point percentage by 7.2 percent and then by 1.3 percent from his second season to his third. He shot 36.4 percent from there last season, but over 38 percent when Curry was injured and 39.1 percent in the playoffs.

RELATED: Why Poole’s contract could be on the rise as expansion looms

The score is not disputed. It’s his defense and his coach is challenging him to improve there.

“I don’t know that he can do anything more to step up offensively,” Kerr recently said on 95.7 The Game’s “Damon & Ratto.” “So the area where he can still improve is on the defensive end.

“I thought last year in the playoffs when he was fully engaged and really playing with physicality, he showed that he can be a legitimate two-way player, but he knows it hasn’t been that consistent. And so that’s the next step for Jordan.”

His season should have resulted in a Most Improved Player award. Now, the Sixth Man of the Year should be on the horizon.

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