Klay Thompson spoke to media and was in good spirits. Jordan Poole shot well. And for Warriors fans desperate for good news, stop reading right now.
A few takeaways from the Warriors’ 124-97 loss to the Mavericks at Chase Center on Tuesday:
In losing their season-high ninth straight, the Warriors never had a chance. It was 36-26 after one, with the Mavericks (6-of-13 from 3 early) shooting their way past an overwhelmed and slow defense.
It only got worse from there, as Dallas’ hot-shooting faded (they finished 13-of-37 from deep), but it chose instead to dominate Golden State with many more opportunities. The Warriors were outrebounded, 54-36, and they put up 86 shots to the Mavericks’ 96.
It didn’t much matter that D’Angelo Russell was off, 5-of-17 for 13 points and 0-for-6 from 3. Even with a more standard performance, the defensive flaws evident on this Golden State squad can render outstanding meaningless.
The Mavericks are the NBA’s best offensive team, but they didn’t exactly play it like Tuesday, Luka Doncic taking a backseat with 20 points on 19 shots. This was an off-night for the Mavericks that still got ugly.
For a Golden State team that has a healthy Russell and Draymond Green, games should be more competitive than this. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take out a telescope for the positives.
More Poole splashes
The worst player on a terrible Warriors team for so much of this season has found himself.
Jordan Poole buried himself on the bench and then found himself in the G League, a rookie touted for his shooting who could not hit a shot. After his stint in Santa Cruz, in which he got some confidence and displayed what the Warriors saw in him to make him the 28th-overall pick in last year’s draft, Poole has emerged a new player.
The 20-year-old was Golden State’s best player for the first half, shooting 3-of-5 — and 2-of-4 from deep — for eight early points that the Warriors needed just to hang around. His shot always has looked smooth, but those open looks were not falling before he got sent down in December.
He finished 6-of-12 and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, his 17 points and five assists the highlight of the Warriors’ game. Perhaps most impressively, he found different ways to score. He put in a nifty runner in the first quarter. He was sharp from deep. He had a four-point play, with a little nod to Stephen Curry. He displayed exactly why young players get sent to the G League.
Jordan Poole gets fouled on the 3, copies Steph's cele & points at him after pic.twitter.com/jtYhDMh3GW
— Chris Montano (@gswchris) January 15, 2020
The Warriors again were without Damion Lee and Marquese Chriss, but that should change soon.
Lee, the talented former two-way guard, is expected to finalize his new guaranteed deal with the team soon. Chriss, who formerly had an NBA deal before the Warriors waived him last week, only to be near a two-way deal with the 22-year-old Tuesday, had not yet signed as of game time.
Kerr said he was surprised Chriss passed through waivers, but he did and Golden State will be able to protect him this offseason. Unless another team overwhelms the to-be restricted free agent with a deal, he’ll be a Warrior next season. And he and Lee will be Warriors this season, officially, again this week.