Friday, January 21 2022

Jordan Poole has gotten off to a rocky shooting start this season, hitting just 24 percent of his 3-pointers through the Golden State Warriors’ first six games. He’s not going to quit firing. The man is a straight-up gunner. On Wednesday, he found his target and tore it to shreds. 

Poole finished Golden State’s 114-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets with 31 points. He made seven of his 16 3-pointers. Twenty-two of those points, including six of his 3s, came in the first half. Over a three-minute stretch toward the end of the second quarter, Poole ran off four triples in a whirlwind blur to blow the roof off the Chase Center. 

Poole was so hot, the Hornets had to trap him … with Stephen Curry on the court. 

First, Charlotte rushed two at Poole off a screen and Poole passes over the top to create a man-up advantage, which ignited a tic-tac-toe passing sequence that results in a wide-open Andrew Wiggins corner 3. On the next possession, the Hornets just flat out blitzed Poole with two defenders as soon as he crossed half court while Curry stood idle on the wing. 

As you can see, the Warriors got a high-quality shot out of both these possessions. That’s Curry-like impact from Poole, clearing the way for his teammates to play four against three in wide-open space as he drags two defenders out of the play by merely existing. 

Put this in the “things you don’t often see” file. Traps this far away from the basket are reserved for the most lethal shooters and scorers on the planet. Curry. Damian Lillard. Trae Young. James Harden. Theses are measures of desperation, when you have no chance to stop a superstar player and would rather take your chances playing a man down on the back side. 

It would be wild enough for Poole, who spent time in the G-League as recent as last season, to get this kind of defensive treatment on its own. But with Curry on the court? Think about what the Hornets are saying here: That they would rather let Curry, the greatest shooter to ever live, participate on the back end of a trap, in 4-on-3 situation, than let Poole get another shot off. 

Curry’s presence on the wing, of course, kept a third defender occupied (LaMelo Ball and Cody Martin stayed glued to him on these actions), and now the Hornets are playing two against three, which is an even greater disadvantage. You would have to scour years of film to find even one or two examples of teams trapping someone on the Warriors other than Curry while Curry is also on the court. 

Even players like Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant have largely been afforded the opportunity to play in single coverage, if not in man-up situations, because Curry is always the one getting trapped. I’m not sure Curry even knew what to do when he saw Poole getting his normal attention. He just stands there and watches his team get a great shot courtesy of someone else’s gravity. 

Curry shouldn’t get used to it. He’ll be back to getting trapped in no time. But it goes to show you how hot Poole was on Wednesday, and how dangerous he is, not only for his own scoring but for the opportunities he opens up for teammates, when he’s in that kind of zone. 



The Fast Break | Nov. 3


Steph Curry's late slide-in attempt to draw a charge on LaMelo Ball is another play that should be eliminated

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

Why Titans will be a different team vs. Bengals if Derrick Henry plays, plus Troy Aikman isn’t wrong

Getty Images Happy Thursday morning, all. I hope this newsletter finds you well. Let’s get right to it. This is the article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM morning newsletter. To sign up and get this in your inbox, fill out the information below. Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would […]

Read More

PHT Morning Skate: Fleury on future; Eichel a ‘month or two’ away

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports. • As the Blackhawks’ playoff hopes slide, here’s Marc-Andre Fleury, owner of a full no-move clause, on his future in Chicago: “I don’t know, it’s not […]

Read More

MLB’s snail-paced lockout talks to resume with union offer

NEW YORK- Locked out baseball players plan to make a counteroffer to management on Monday, 11 days after clubs gave the union a proposal when the snail-paced negotiations resumed following a 42-day break. The players’ association asked Major League Baseball on Thursday to schedule the negotiating session. There is dwindling time to reach an agreement […]

Read More