Golden State Warriors: 3 things to watch for in the second half

James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
3 of 4
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images /

2. Can Jordan Poole offer this team more down the stretch?

Jordan Poole was somewhat a victim of his own situation last season. A non-lottery guard told to come in and be the Warriors’ offensive engine in the backcourt after injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson laid the cupboard bare. He forced things, jacked up too many long 2-pointers, danced with the ball too much. His on-court mentor was D’Angelo Russell, which is not a good thing for developing solid scoring habits.

This season he has a better situation waiting for him down the stretch. After a month in the G League Bubble, where Poole balled out to the tune of 22.4 points per game, second in the “Gubble”, he is going to have an established role with the second unit. Hopefully, he will get to pair with Wiseman for a high-octane combination of young offensive talent.

More from Golden State Warriors

Finding minutes for Poole is not a youth movement, either. Brad Wanamaker, the current backup point guard, has not been effective on offense for the Warriors. He has clung to his rotation spot due to his steady presence and good defense, but a Warriors team starved for offense when Curry is off the floor needs to find a better option.

Enter Poole, who may be the second-best scorer on this team behind Curry. Certainly not playmaker (that’s Draymond Green) or shooter (Kent Bazemore, Mychal Mulder, even Kelly Oubre Jr.) but he can absolutely score with the ball in his hands. Can he be the answer for the Warriors’ third guard, able to play alongside and behind Curry?

Watch out for two-way player Nico Mannion as well. The red-headed second-round rookie played well in the Gubble himself, ranking ninth in the league with 19.3 points per game. Last Thursday head coach Steve Kerr started him in Curry’s place to give Poole more of his normal rotation. The former McDonald’s All American has the pedigree to be a useful piece and could see some more playing time the rest of the season as well.