Warriors' Jordan Poole Compared to Steph Curry, Gets MIP Praise for Win vs. Grizzlies

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 1, 2022

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 1: Jordan Poole #3 hi-fives Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors during Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 1, 2022 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors held on to edge out the Memphis Grizzlies 117-116 in Game 1 of their 2022 NBA playoff series.

Ja Morant had an opportunity to win the game for the Grizzlies but watched his layup attempt bounce off the glass as the buzzer sounded.


THE WARRIORS HANG ON TO TAKE GAME 1 ‼️ <a href="https://t.co/GIqVimvDNi">pic.twitter.com/GIqVimvDNi</a>

Stephen Curry wasn't at his best yet dropped 24 points and went 5-of-12 from beyond the arc. Jordan Poole was the Warriors' best performer as he poured in a team-high 31 points and flirted with a triple-double by adding nine assists and eight rebounds.

Warriors on NBCS @NBCSWarriors

PLAYOFF CAREER HIGH ‼️<br><br>IT'S A POOLE PARTY 💦 <a href="https://t.co/SiBoZn9tg1">pic.twitter.com/SiBoZn9tg1</a>

Poole has taken a big step forward in his third season, and his omission from the list of finalists for Most Improved Player certainly didn't sit well in the Bay Area. Even though individual awards are based on the regular season, the playoffs are making the Most Improved Player voting look even more puzzling in retrospect.

Rise @Rise_Watcher

Jordan Poole to Ja Morant right now😂 <a href="https://twitter.com/warriors?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@warriors</a> <a href="https://t.co/rrxqfEHxJd">pic.twitter.com/rrxqfEHxJd</a>

buckets @buckets

jordan poole knowing ja/bane got the most improved award <a href="https://t.co/C1G6GEOYd0">pic.twitter.com/C1G6GEOYd0</a>

Shlomo Sprung @SprungOnSports

Jordan Poole playing like he knows MIP should’ve been his

StatMuse @statmuse

Jordan Poole vs Grizzlies:<br><br>31 PTS<br>8 REB<br>9 AST<br>12-20 FG<br>5-10 3P<br><br>The real MIP. <a href="https://t.co/9autX3BID4">pic.twitter.com/9autX3BID4</a>

Because they occupy the same roster, comparisons between Poole and Curry are inevitable. While they aren't interchangeable stylistically, Poole might one day inherit the mantle Curry leaves behind.

Guru @DrGuru_

Steph Curry ➡️ Jordan Poole <a href="https://t.co/GQxlMw6AAm">pic.twitter.com/GQxlMw6AAm</a>

Zito @_Zeets

Steph Curry and Jordan Poole <a href="https://t.co/JYXHGrJt3S">pic.twitter.com/JYXHGrJt3S</a>

sam esfandiari @samesfandiari

Steph to Poole to Steph 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson @ScoopB

Steph Curry on Jordan Poole: “He’s a hooper.” <br><br>“You either have it or you don’t. He does.” <a href="https://t.co/0f3WpNvZTP">pic.twitter.com/0f3WpNvZTP</a>

If nothing else, this postseason could be a major coming-out party for Poole. The extent to which his confidence has grown was evident in his performance.

Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks

Jordan Poole to the courtside seats: “I’m a bad man”


Jordan Poole races down the floor and finishes with a beautiful reverse layup ✨<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAPlayoffs</a> presented by Google Pixel on ABC <a href="https://t.co/X6RfgVfUR1">pic.twitter.com/X6RfgVfUR1</a>

Golden State Warriors @warriors

Jordan Poole shot it from The Bay! <a href="https://t.co/u8JUNxTTb3">pic.twitter.com/u8JUNxTTb3</a>

One of the game's biggest flash points came in the second quarter when Draymond Green was assessed a flagrant-2 foul on Brandon Clarke.

ESPN @espn

Draymond Green was ejected for this flagrant 2 foul. <a href="https://t.co/QPYnODEXt1">pic.twitter.com/QPYnODEXt1</a>

The official ruling didn't go down well on social media:

Damian Lillard @Dame_Lillard

We gotta have better context with these rules man.

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Draymond Green gets ejected for a grab and yank of Brandon Clarke's jersey. Warriors bench is stunned. Steph Curry to the referees: "That's f****** crazy." They thought it'd be a flagrant 1 maximum.

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

That’s an utterly outrageous decision to throw Draymond out.

In practical terms, Golden State was left without its best perimeter defender for a majority of Sunday's contest. To earn a road win under those circumstances has to leave head coach Steve Kerr thrilled.

Looking at the bigger picture, Poole's breakout is the kind of thing that can put the Warriors over the top in the title race, too.