Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson showed up for the Golden State Warriors. They combined for 47 points, while Steph Curry struggled to convert his field goal attempts. They defeated the Boston Celtics on Monday in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.
Curry managed to score only 16 points, going 0-9 from beyond the arc. It was his first playoff game without a 3-point field goal.
While Curry struggled on the night, his teammates took up the scoring burden. Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins were effective contributors, along with Jordan Poole, although Poole has seen his minutes reduce with each passing series.
Entering the finals, many believed the Warriors would be beaten handily.
The Golden State Warriors are by no means an underdog team, considering the offensive firepower they possess. Chris Broussard of “First Things First” highlighted the team’s strength after Game 5.
“Before this series began, one of the reasons I said I was picking Golden State was because unlike a banged-up Milwaukee team, and unlike a banged-up Miami Heat team – the Warriors had several scoring options.”
Jordan Poole flourished in Klay Thompson’s absence during the regular season. Poole has kept up his production since Thompson's return, and both have been really solid contributors for the Warriors.
Thompson has been a consistent scorer, averaging 19.4 points in the playoffs, with three 30-point nights. Poole has played fewer minutes over the last two rounds. As a result his averages have dropped from 21.5 points per game in the first-round to 15.7 since.
Chris Broussard went on to explain Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins’ impact on the Warriors’ system.
“This notion out there that Klay is washed – Klay Thompson hit five three-pointers last night, 21 points as I said. But more than that, this entire postseason – his numbers are exactly the same as they have been throughout his postseason career. I mean, almost identical.
“Andrew Wiggins is a legitimate 20-point scorer. He just doesn’t have that, you know – ‘I gotta be the number one guy’ type of ego, which is great. Cause you got number one, number two type of talent, but you’re willing to play a role and fit in.”
Jordan Poole could become the face of the Golden State Warriors in the near future
Jordan Poole has matured during the 2021-22 season in the absence of Klay Thompson. In the regular season, Poole averaged 20.8 points as a starter, making the most of his opportunities.
During the playoffs, he was chosen to start over Curry in the first round. He delivered an average of 21.0 points per game against the Denver Nuggets. However, with Curry healthy returning to the lineup, Poole was reduced to a bench role.
Chris Broussard refuted the criticism Poole has been getting for his reduced impact, stating:
“His numbers have gone down as his role changed and his minutes – because of the minutes Nick. The first series he started, he started 51 games this season, the minutes have fallen cause Steph is fully healthy and Klay is fully healthy. But he’s scoring at the same rate. Look at the numbers.”
Despite the narrative, Jordan Poole has progressed in leaps and bounds over the season.
He is a solid talent and seems poised to take on more challenges in the coming years.