Despite the Warriors’ relatively lofty record, times are a bit crazy right now in Golden State.
Superstar guard Stephen Curry just injured his foot and won’t be re-evaluated until April 1, just as it appeared the Warriors’ “Big 3” — Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson — would finally be reunited for a stretch run to the NBA Playoffs.
Plus, center James Wiseman suffered a devastating setback right after Curry’s injury, putting his career, or at the very least, his health in the playoffs this season, in serious doubt.
But Golden State has an ace up its sleeve. Third-year guard Jordan Poole is the perfect player to slide into Curry’s spot and carry a hefty load down the stretch until Curry returns. Amazingly, perhaps no player in the NBA can play as similarly to Curry.
They both have the ability to hit deep 3-pointers. Each can get to the bucket with relative ease. Though Poole gets to the rim with elite quickness, much like former Warriors guard and fan favorite, Monta Ellis.
Poole is like a combination of Curry and Ellis — a Curry-Ellis hybrid, if you will. With his quickness and 3-point shot, he has an on-court gravitational pull like Curry does, as well. In a huge credit to Poole, coach Steve Kerr can hand him the same role as Curry and expect similar, though not identical, results.
That will help the Warriors survive the stretch run without Curry, and it will help them maintain their exact same playing style until Curry returns and takes his spot back. Plus, I’m simply ready to be entertained. Much like Curry, Poole is fun to watch.
Poole still has to prove he can run the show, however. He’s already shown that he’s a key player if the Warriors plan to extend their dynasty. But in the weeks ahead, he can put an enormous exclamation point on that notion.
With the Warriors’ promising season in the balance, Golden State is fortunate to have Poole to lead the way. Now, all he’s got to do is prove he has All-Star potential, as Kerr recently proclaimed.
I’ve certainly got my popcorn ready, as does the entire Dub Nation.