Poole Party on display vs Lakers in 124-121 preseason loss
Jordan Poole's third quarter scoring binge in his first game since being punched by his teammate reminded the league that Golden State's youth movement is for real.
The hottest topic in these Dub Nation streets is how good the Golden State Warriors’ youth movement looked in last night’s 124-121 preseason loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sure, greatest player alive Stephen Curry cruised to 24 points on 50% shooting as he continued to fine tune his cannon for the regular season. Just watch how he danced around helpless L.A. defenders like Michael Jackson in the Smooth Criminal video before evaporating the big lanky guy wearing #30 in the paint.
That’s #30 on #30 crime right there! Meanwhile All-Star Andrew Wiggins chipped in an easy 15 points of his own, letting us know he’s feeling spry as ring night approaches.
But how about all those recent draft picks that showed out for the Dubs?
The 2021 #7 pick Jonathan Kuminga brought his chaotic brand of basketball, hurtling into traffic and seeking contact relentlessly in the paint (scored 12 points and went 6-of-6 from the FT line).
2020 #2 overall pick James Wiseman tallied 13 points and 6 rebounds in 18 minutes off of the bench. He showed a beautiful pick-and-roll chemistry with Jordan Poole.
Speaking of Poole, the #28 pick in the 2019 draft, he went to WORK last night. 25 points and 6 assists on 10-of-19 shooting from the field, with ZERO turnovers. Sheesh, now that’s how you respond after getting knocked upside the head by the enforcer Draymond Green in practice!
One thing I couldn’t help but notice was there was another recent Warriors draft pick on the floor last night. He’s that #30 guy, this time standing helplessly under the rim while Poole was cooking with kerosene on this play last night:
Ladies and gentlemen, that Laker #30 is former Dub DAMIAN JONES!
The ghost of a draft pick past
Jones was chosen with the #30 selection in the first round of Golden State’s 2016 draft. He was a part of GM Bob Myers’ strategy to add young developmental talent to the roster while the team reconfigured itself to chase superstar Kevin Durant in free agency:
As Myers said, their young guys right now are last year’s No. 1 pick Kevon Looney plus now Damian Jones and Patrick McCaw.
None of them have proven anything at the NBA level, but every team has to turn over much of its team at some point, and these guys are now bench players for the Warriors into the future. Starting pretty much now.
Remember that folks? Golden State’s youth movement in 2016 was Loon, McCaw, and Damian Jones! All three of those guys battled debilitating injuries that zapped some of their early promise, whilst fighting for playing time amongst hungry vets like Zaza Pachulia, David West, JaVale McGee, and DeMarcus Cousins.
After playing sparingly his first two seasons, Jones was entrusted to join the starting lineup during the 2018-2019 season (also known as the season which ended with Klay Thompson and KD’s limbs giving out in the NBA Finals). He was supposed to be groomed into the rim-protecting, alley-oop catching, mid-range jumpshooting big the Warriors had long pined for during the Splash Bros era.
His unfulfilling 49-game tenure with GSW may have planted the seeds for why many pundits were staunchly against the drafting of 7-footer James Wiseman in 2020. The skeptics may have wondered if GM Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob failed to learn from the Jones’ disappointment; that it’s too much of a risk to develop an unproven big into a consistent player while the candle burns on Stephen Curry’s prime.
Jones bounced around the league before landing in Los Angeles, where he fell victim to this beautiful move to Wiseman:
Last night Jones tallied more fouls (4) than rebounds (3) in 12 minutes off the bench. It’s surreal watching a guy Dub Nation hoped would be the big man of the future, getting eclipsed by another wave of youthful projects courtesy of GM Myers. At one point Jones was starting over Looney folks!
Meanwhile Loon has become Golden State’s most reliable big man, rising to the occasion last season as the team’s de facto healthy option, helping the Dubs snatch another championship. And there he was last night, showing he’s still more than capable of putting the clamps on Olympians like Anthony Davis if need be:
Okay how are we feeling about how the team is coming along, HQ?