Washington Wizards: 3 areas where Jordan Poole has to improve

Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Individual defense

With the offensive load Jordan Poole is carrying and his physical limitations, it may not be realistic to expect him to be a high-level defender. However, he needs to be much better on that end to become a high-level player.

Poole doesn’t have elite physical or athletic tools. He is only 6’4 and doesn’t have a long wingspan or great strength. It is naturally difficult for him to guard bigger players. And maybe that is a lot to ask from him. But he certainly can be better at defending guards.

Poole’s elite quickness, speed, and first step are apparent on the offensive end. Yet, those tools are invisible on defense. He struggles to keep attacking players in front of him and gets pushed around easily. He doesn’t provide much in terms of help defense either, as demonstrated by his poor steal and block numbers throughout his career. He consistently allows blow-bys and creates big holes for his own defense with his mistakes.

When Poole played alongside Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and Andrew Wiggins, these mistakes were covered by the defensive excellence of these players. The Wizards don’t have that same caliber of defenders to make up for Poole’s mistakes.

Some of these defensive deficiencies are about his poor closeout technique or strength. These may take longer to fix. However, what can easily be fixed is a lack of effort, discipline, and concentration on that end. Poole has struggled with all of those at times during his Golden State stint. Now that he is one of the team leaders in Washington, he needs to set a better example on those fronts.

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