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Will Golden State's defense adjust in Game 7? And will Poole have a signature game this series?
MUST WIN GAME 7 IN SACTOWN!
Wellllllp we’re here folks. We finally have the one game that the defending, reigning, undisputed, heavyweight champions of the basketball world cannot afford to lose if they want their season to go forward.
This season has been a smorgasbord of uneven efforts, staggering lows, and exhilarating highs. 33-8 at home! 11-30 on the road? Kevon Looney overcame a rough injury history to play all 82 games! All-Star Andrew Wiggins was gone from the team for two months?
And that vibe has traveled to the fiery cauldron of postseason competition. Down 2-0 to the #3 seed Sacramento Kings to start the playoffs? Hmm. Win three straight to take a 3-2 lead with a chance to close it all out tidily in Game 6 at home? YES!
Get blown out in that Game 6 by the visitors in front of Dub Nation? Hmmmm.
That quote by Malik Monk (who balled out with 28 points on 14 shots off the bench) about running the older Warriors into fatigue resonated with me. A lot has been made after the game about Coach of the Year Mike Brown making an adjustment to play smaller, faster lineups that space the floor and give guys like Monk and De’Aaron Fox (26 points and 11 assists) all the room they need to create.
But with that in mind, you would think Golden State’s young speedster Jordan Poole would have more room to operate against a defense lacking a shot blocker. Poole was 2-for-11 from the field in 26 minutes with 1 assist.
This continues an alarming trend this postseason where Poole’s 20 points per game during the regular season have shrank down to 12.7. The percentages also show a ghastly decline, as he’s shooting 33% from the field and 24% from beyond the arc after shooting 43% and 33% respectively during the season.
Check out Stephen Curry’s words of wisdom for Poole at the 4:47 mark of his postgame interview.
“We need him”.
And here’s the other Splash Bro Klay Thompson at the 1:52 mark discussing Poole:
“Jordan’s only 23 years old. We win as a team, we lose as a team. He could come out and get 30 Sunday effortlessly.”
Poole averaged 17 points per game during Golden State’s championship run, shooting 50% from the field and 39% from beyond the arc. That’s a big part of the reason he got the big contract extension in the offseason; a dangerous offensive threat who could stretch defenses to their breaking point as they scrambled to stop Golden State’s All-Stars.
Poole is CERTAINLY not the reason this series is going 7 games instead of the Dubs already moving on to the next round. But I am excited and curious to see how he bounces back from a few un-Poole like experiences under the pressure of a road game 7. The Dubs could really use one of his offensive onslaughts to get the right energy going Sunday.
But if he isn’t able to crack Coach Brown’s defense, the Dubs had better damn sure adjust to Sacramento’s offensive attack. And rebound. And not foul. And find a way to weaponize some joy and do what they’ve already done three times this series: beat the Kangz.
ONWARD TO GAME 7 FOR THE CHAMPS!