The Washington Wizards (5-22) will continue their western conference road trip and will visit the Golden State Warriors (13-14) on Friday night. The main headline of this game is former Warriors and current Wizards guard Jordan Poole visiting the Chase Center since being surprisingly traded back in July.
Poole was drafted 28th overall in the 2018 NBA draft by Golden State and was a key contributor in their 2022 NBA Championship victory. In the 2022 playoffs, Poole averaged 17 points while shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range, respectively. The former Michigan guard seemed like the future cornerstone for the franchise after the title win by having inked a 4-year $140 million dollar contract in the 2022 offseason.
The former Warrior had an eventful 2022 campaign, as he had issues with turnovers at an alarming rate (3.1 per game, career-high) and of course, the physical calamity with former teammate Draymond Green prior to the start of the 2022 season. In speaking of Green, the former Defensive Player of the Year will not suit up tonight for the Warriors, as he is currently suspended indefinitely due to repeated on-court antics.
Poole and the Wizards are coming off a tough road-victory by defeating the Portland Trailblazers 118-117 on Thursday night. Poole tallied 13 points and 6 assists in the win, as he currently averages 17.2 points (third lowest of career) on 41.2 percent shooting (fourth lowest of career) for the season thus far, respectively.
As for Poole’s former team, Golden State is fresh off an overtime home victory over the team that Poole helped the Warriors defeat in the 2022 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics 132-126. Stephen Curry led the way for the Warriors with 33 points along with the game-sealing three-pointer late in overtime. Boston led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, but due to poor perimeter shooting by Boston (29.3 percent from 3) and the obvious limitation to Boston star forward Jayson Tatum (suffered ankle injury early in game), it allowed Golden State to once again take down the current No. 1 seed in the eastern conference.
This game will be the Wizards’ first and only nationally televised game on ESPN (not counting NBA TV) for the season, as Poole’s return to Golden State is one of the more anticipated matchups of the year.
This matchup between Washington and Golden State will likely be high scoring, as both teams rank in the top-11 in points per game (No. 9 Washington, 117. No. 11 Golden State, 116.5). The Warriors will certainly have the edge in rebounding per game, as they rank first in the league in the category (47.3) and the Wizards rank dead-last (39.2), respectively. Steve Kerr’s team dominates the paint with solid big men such as Kevon Looney (7.9) per game and Dario Saric (5.9) per game, respectively. The significant gap in that aspect will likely push the Warriors past the Wizards in Poole’s first game at Chase Center since May 10th of this year in a home playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2023 Semi-Final round.
What kind of ovation should Poole expect? Will there be boos for a guy who was third in scoring throughout the Warriors 2022 postseason championship run? Or will there be cheers for the former first-round pick who was supposed to be Curry’s successor in Golden State?