Kerr theorizes why JP plays better when he starts games


Jordan Poole will start his fourth straight Warriors game Sunday night, and third in a row with regular starters Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green.

The fourth-year NBA guard was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Kevon Looney for the Warriors' loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday night and coach Steve Kerr has stuck with the smaller unit ever since.

Kerr's goal is to jump-start the offense while also hoping Poole finds a rhythm. The numbers this season make a compelling case that Poole is better as a starter rather than as a reserve.

Before Golden State's against the Brooklyn Nets at Chase Center, Kerr was asked about the disparity between Poole's production as a starter and coming off the bench.

"He seems to play better in the starting lineup, for whatever reason," Kerr told reporters. "I can theorize why, you know, more space when he's playing with Steph. He's generally going to have a lesser defender on him. I think he makes other people better too in the starting lineup because of the space and shots he can create. So, it's a good fit, but we have to fight on the glass defensively because we're pretty small.

"But it's something we're excited about doing and I thought it looked pretty good against Boston. I think we could have gotten even better shots than we did. And that's the challenge as we go, to understand we can get great shots playing a smaller lineup like that because of the space and the shooting and the ability to attack closeouts from all five spots, so we should be seeking great shots every night."

Entering Sunday's contest, of the 46 games he's played, Poole has started in 24 games and come off the bench in 22. As a starter, he's averaging 26.9 points on 44 percent shooting from the field in 34.4 minutes. Off the bench, he's averaging 15.2 points on 42 percent shooting from the field in 26.8 minutes.

Coming off the bench last Sunday against the Chicago Bulls, Poole scored 15 points. But in the three games since, he has scored 32, 24 and 32 points, helping the Warriors win two of three.

RELATED: Poole's 3-point shot is back, unlocking his efficiency

The Warriors rode this small unit heavily during the NBA playoffs last year, using it to close out teams. Now they are turning to it to try to get their season on the right track.

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