The Golden State Warriors made a switch in their starting lineup agains the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night, and it paid off big time in a 122-109 win against the defending champs.
The Warriors opted to insert Jordan Poole into the starting lineup for the contest. While he’s not stranger to starting, as he’s done prior to Klay Thompson’s return as well as when he has to sit out games, this start came alongside both Splash Brothers active, forming a three-headed offensive monster with Stephen Curry.
When asked about the move, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was vocal about the decision after the game.
Via Anthony Slater:
“Those three have been playing really well,” said the Warriors coach. “But also I felt like Holiday would be all over Steph and that they would double quite a bit and blitz. So we just felt like rather than going with Moses who’s been starting the last few games just getting Jordan out there as a secondary playmaker, we’d have some openings.”
Starting Jordan Poole certainly paid off. Kerr’s prediction was spot on in that Stephen Curry was largely limited in the game. He finished with just eight points on seven shot attempts to go along with five rebounds and eight assists. It was just Curry’s second game in single-digit scoring figures all season.
Adding another shot creator capable of taking advantage off the defensive attention Stephen Curry garnered was paramount as Jordan Poole finished with 30 points on the evening, which came in tandem with Klay Thompson pouring in a game-high 38 points.
It’s definitely a luxury for Steve Kerr and the Warriors to be able to have another offensive weapon capable of dropping a 30-piece when either Steph or Klay is having an off night. But it was the all-around game that Jordan Poole had which impressed Kerr the most.
Aside from his efficient offensive output, Jordan Poole was able to show off his productivity in other ways. He tallied six rebounds and dished out five assists while only committing one turnover. He was also largely active on the defensive end which allowed Steve Kerr to keep him on the floor, where he was a +26 on the evening, just one point behind Klay Thompson to lead the Warriors.
“It worked out. But it worked out because Jordan played a great game,” the Warriors coach continued. “He was patient. He only had one turnover. He’s been so much better defensively the last couple of games staying in the fight, staying in the game. Getting some rebounds, he has six boards tonight which was key. We out-rebounded them by quite a bit. If Jordan can play both ends like that, it makes our offensive attack that much better.”
It was previously reported that Jordan Poole could be in line for a hefty payday when it comes time for an extension in the offseason. If he continues to perform like a third backcourt star, locking him up will be an easy decision for the Golden State Warriors.