Jordan Poole has bolstered his Most Improved player résumé as he has set career-highs across the board for the 2021-22 season, and with the playoffs just around the corner, he is looking to cement himself as a bridge between the present and future of the Golden State Warriors.
Along with his tremendous season, the whispers of him potentially winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award are here. For the season, Poole averaged 18.5 points per game, 4 assists a game, and 3.4 rebounds a game. He has seen increases in every positive-statistic category this season. Along with an improvement in statistics, his feel for the game have definitely improved.
He has impacted the game in more ways than he had in the past. Poole had shown flashes of his playmaking abilities in prior seasons with some tough passes through defenses, but this season he has shown that he can be an impactful secondary playmaker. From his dribbling to break down defenses, to hitting open cutters. His vision has been one of the most important areas of growth for him.
Poole has been insanely hot since Warriors superstar Stephen Curry went down with a sprained ligament, which happened against the Boston Celtics on March 16th, 2022. In the 17 games without Curry this season, Poole has held his own. With averages of 25.6 points per game, 5.6 assists a game, and 4.7 rebounds a game. The Warriors may have a record of 8-9 without Curry, but the Warriors did end the regular season on a five-game winning streak, which included a gutsy comeback against the Utah Jazz.
One of Poole’s biggest offensive strengths is his change of speed with the ball in his hands. His lightning-quick speed is great, but pairing it with his offensive instincts to change speed is what makes Poole so lethal on the offensive end. Sometimes it does get him into trouble since he will have a tendency to over-dribble, but as he gets a better feel for attacking his defender that should go away.
“He’ll have his man two or three times per touch,” Iguodala said. “You know, you only need to beat your man one time in this league. You beat your man one time and you’ll have the advantage. But he’ll beat his man once then bring it back, beat him again then bring it back, beat him again – and then it’s, like, you just used six or seven seconds. Just headshot, get ‘em out of there – is the wordplay I use with him.”
Jordan Poole had an incredible regular season, because of that, he should be awarded the Most Improved Player award. Poole has helped keep the Warriors afloat through numerous injuries to their stars. He has been one of the most consistent players helping the Warriors win games down the stretch.
“The award is called the most improved. Not who had the best year. That’s the MVP,” said Draymond Green. “A lot of times we get it confused. No disrespect to Ja Morant, but Ja is an MVP candidate. Ja Morant isn’t the Most Improved Player. He was f—ing incredible last year. When you look around, the most improvement has been Jordan Poole and that goes without saying. He is the most improved.”