Jordan Poole The Splash Brothers Third Brother Has Arrived
Jordan Poole emergence in the NBA playoffs is examined from the inside. In addition, how the Timberwolves and Grizzlies are following their own set of rules.
So, last week, we discussed Klay Thompson’s unexpected late-season revival and what it may mean for him and the Warriors’ return to the promised land.
However, third-year guard Jordan Poole, who is averaging 29.5 points per game through the first two games of Golden State’s series with Denver, has outshined both Thompson and two-time MVP Stephen Curry. And the Warriors are comfortably ahead 2–0 in the matchup thus far, thanks in large part to Poole’s domination.
If the Dubs win the championship after a four-year hiatus, we’ll be justified in announcing that there’s a third Splash Brother, who happens to be named Poole. While no one would mistakenly compare this group’s domination to Kevin Durant’s run, there are certainly significant, positive distinctions in some circumstances. Poole, who is a great passer and shooter, is still on a rookie contract rather than a max contract (though he is eligible for an extension this summer). He also possesses one of Curry’s finest traits in that he moves exceptionally effectively without the ball, making teams nervous and uncertain about where he’ll be on the court.
That fits with how the Warriors have historically conducted offence under Steve Kerr: using off-ball screens, misdirections, cutting backdoor, and forcing defensive decisions due to overcommitments aimed at Curry 35 and 40 feet out.
After missing several weeks at the conclusion of the regular season, Poole’s emergence gave Curry the time he needed to regain his footing. In each of the previous two games of the series, the former MVP came off the bench, then erupted for 34 points in only 23 minutes on Monday. He blasted one of his trademark “I don’t even need to watch my shot in the air; I know it’s going in” triples from the wing at one point in the second quarter.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone remarked, “Curry is the best sixth man in the history of the playoffs.”
With the exception of Nikola Joki, the soon-to-be two-time MVP, who has been neutralised by Draymond Green, the finest defender in basketball, Golden State’s offensive barrage seems to be much too much for Denver.
Aaron Gordon and Will Barton have been Joki’s backup options in the absence of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Gordon, who appears to miss Murray and Porter even more than Joki, ended with seven points on 15 tries Monday, marking the sixth consecutive postseason game in which he has failed to score in double figures, dating back to last season’s series defeat to the Suns.
For Gordon, who is still only 26, it’s a long cry from the first few weeks after he was moved to Denver, when the Nuggets went on a seven-game winning streak with him as their fourth option on most nights.
Rohan Nadkarni has an excellent piece on Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns.
Chris Mannix discussed Kyrie Irving’s outstanding weekend performance in Boston.
Michael Pina wrote about Nikola Joki and Draymond Green’s incredible chess battle.
Yesterday, I published a Daily Cover story about the Raptors’ long limbs and how they could be the NBA’s most beautiful odd team—even though their style of play may doom them in the near future.
In contrast to my post about a squad with unnaturally long limbs, Howard Beck performed a podcast with NBA star Muggsy Bogues, who at 5’3″ was the league’s smallest player.
Finally, you can check our NBA staff selections for awards and first-round matches here if you missed them.
The NBA regular season is vastly different from the playoffs, with the former being more akin to recess and the latter more akin to a seasoned, graduate-level school.
Jordan Poole In that sense, the Timberwolves and Grizzlies, both of whom are among the league’s youngest teams, with an average age of just 24 years old, are the equivalent of infant geniuses taking notes among college students twice their age in a lecture hall.
They’re ahead of the curve, as proven by their Game 1 matchup, which saw a pair of 22-year-olds score 30 or more points in the same playoff game for the first time in NBA history. The young teams put on a high-scoring show at a breakneck tempo, which goes against what fans have grown to expect from postseason basketball. It’s a shame that Game 2 of the most intriguing first-round game will be shown on NBA TV, where it will be seen by fewer people.
Minnesota-Memphis is a terrific matchup since these two teams are so inexperienced that they don’t aware they’re breaking all the rules and, in the process, making the game more enjoyable.
Jordan Poole are unconcerned with their age. They don’t give a damn about the tempo they’re supposed to perform at. And Patrick Beverley and Dillon Brooks don’t seem to mind if you don’t like their constant trash talk or hard-nosed attitude from one play to the next.
Memphis is a contender because of its No. 2 seed in the West and ability to win even without star Ja Morant, while the Wolves—who have plenty of star power with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns—have flirted with being a top-10 team on both sides of the ball for the most of the season.
Minnesota performed the greatest bending of the traditional norms in Game 1, defeating the grit and grind pioneers at their own game and on their home court. The Wolves outmuscled the gritty Grizzlies, who led the league in hustle numbers like as deflections and loose ball recoveries while also dominating the glass and taking good care of the ball. Minnesota, despite being one of the NBA’s worst defensive rebounding teams, won the rebounding battle and limited their live-ball turnovers to just three in Game 1 despite Memphis being the top team at causing such errors, according to The Athletic’s Fred Katz.
Following the Grizzlies’ Game 1 loss, it’s unclear what quick remedies Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins will pursue. Despite the fact that Memphis was outworked on the boards, don’t be shocked if we see Steven Adams for less time than the 24 minutes he played in the previous game. With him defending, the tempo of Game 1 was a touch too fast for him, but Edwards and Towns had no issue getting comfortable shot opportunities. According to Synergy Sports, Jordan Poole the Wolves went 5-of-6 on jumpers in the first quarter with Adams in the mix.
Regardless of whether Adams is in the lineup frequently or not, there should be plenty of shotmaking, loose-ball scrambles, and nasty mugging to go around.