NBA

Wizards’ Jordan Poole ready for anticipated return to Golden State

Dec 22, 2023, 8:11 AM | Updated: 8:14 am

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Jordan Poole and the Washington Wizards will attempt to double their pleasure — in more ways than one — when they face the Golden State Warriors on Friday night in San Francisco.

Washington hopes to wrap up its four-game Western swing with back-to-back wins.

Poole had just a modest contribution with 13 points and six assists, but teammates Kyle Kuzma and Tyus Jones came up big with a combined 56 points in an exhausting 118-117 triumph over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

The win, which came after trip-opening losses at Phoenix and Sacramento, came one night before Poole’s highly anticipated return to Golden State. Poole played his first four seasons with the Warriors and helped the team capture the 2022 NBA championship.

More on former Warriors guard Jordan Poole

However, last season was a disappointment for Poole, who was punched by then-teammate Draymond Green in a preseason incident and then yo-yoed between the starting lineup and the bench. He ended the year shooting just 43.0 percent overall and 33.6 percent on 3-point attempts.

In the end, he was chief among the scapegoats for a season in which the defending champs didn’t get out of the second round of the playoffs, and he was subsequently dealt to the Wizards with two others and two draft picks for veteran Chris Paul.

Asked frequently about his upcoming reunion, Poole has insisted, “I haven’t put too much thought into it.”

This week, he tried to put a positive spin on a night when Warriors fans figure to have mixed reactions.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to go back and play somewhere where I used to play,” he said. “So yeah, kind of just going in, and it should be cool.”

YouTube video

Some projected Poole, who averaged 20.4 points per game last season despite his relatively low shooting percentages, would thrive in a low-pressure situation in Washington. It hasn’t worked out that way. He actually is shooting worse this season — 41.2 percent overall and 31.7 percent on 3-point tries — and his scoring average has dipped to 17.2.

Warriors fans who applaud Poole’s introduction Friday likely will be recalling his contribution to the club’s 2022 title. He had big games early in series wins over the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies before becoming a lesser contributor to triumphs over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals and the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Golden State veteran Klay Thompson knows how he would respond if he were in the stands on Friday.

“We would not have won a championship in ’22 without him,” Thompson said. “Simple as that. So I hope Dub Nation shows him the right ovation.”

Paul has fit in well with Golden State’s second unit — something with which Poole struggled — in his first two months as a Warrior. He is averaging just 8.5 points per game, but with better numbers to date than Poole had last season in assists (7.6 to 4.5) and turnovers (1.3 to 3.1).

Paul saved a 132-126 Warriors overtime win over the Celtics on Tuesday. He grabbed a Stephen Curry miss with 13 seconds remaining in the extra session, and with the shot clock close to expiring, got the ball back to Curry for a game-clinching 3-pointer.

The win was the Warriors’ third in a row.

–Field Level Media

Newsletter

NBA

Jusuf Nurkic #20 of the Phoenix Suns is fouled by Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings duri...

DAVID VEENSTRA Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic fined for flopping against Sacramento Kings

Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic was fined $2,000 for flopping following an official league review for his actions during the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center on Friday night.

9 hours ago

Jerami Grant #9 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots over Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kin...

Field Level Media

Sacramento Kings look to end 2023-24 season on high note against Blazers

Sunday's 2023-24 regular-season finale arrives with the Sacramento Kings facing postseason uncertainty ahead of their matchup with the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.

11 hours ago

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks down between plays in the third quarter agains...

Field Level Media

Golden State Warriors weigh merits of rest against Jazz

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr insists he's planning to prioritize rest over a possible home-court advantage when his club wraps up the regular season by hosting the Utah Jazz on Sunday in San Francisco.

15 hours ago

Head coach Jordi Fernandez of Canada walks off the court after the FIBA Basketball World Cup quarte...

Amiliano Fragoso

Report: Kings’ assistant coach Jordi Fernandez named finalist for Nets’ HC role

The Athletic reported that Kings' assistant coach Jordi Fernandez has been named a finalist for the Brooklyn Nets' lead job.

16 hours ago

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 12: Grayson Allen #8 of the Phoenix Suns drives against De'Aaron Fox...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Kings suffer late-game errors as Suns prevail, drop SAC to 9th

The Sacramento Kings held a late lead on Friday, but errors allowed the Phoenix Suns to sneak away with the win at Golden 1 Center.

1 day ago

Former Sacramento Kings player Chris Webber is acknowledged by the crowd during the Kings game agai...

Brenden Nunes

Chris Webber reflects on his life in book ‘By God’s Grace’

Sacramento Kings legend and Hall of Famer Chris Webber spoke with Sactown Sports 1140 Friday afternoon about his book, 'By God's Grace.'

1 day ago

Wizards’ Jordan Poole ready for anticipated return to Golden State