How Jordan Poole getting back to his old play is key to the Wizards' success

Washington Wizards v Utah Jazz
Washington Wizards v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Jordan Poole was thought to be a star with his new team. The whole league had high expectations for him as he assumed a new role with the Wizards. But, unfortunately, it has not turned out that well. But since the All-Star break, Brian Keefe decided to shake things up and have Poole in a sixth-man role. The change seems to be working for Poole as of right now. The move has upgraded 2023 lottery pick Bilal Coulibaly into the Wizards' starting lineup. 

As a starter this season, Poole has averaged 15.6 points and 3.7 assists per game. This was over a 57-game stretch. In the seven games Poole has come off the bench, he has averaged 23 points, scoring 30 or more points three times. His lowest-scoring game in that stretch came against his former team, the Golden State Warriors, where he scored 12 points.

Poole has 10 single-digit scoring games as a starter this season. Poole coming off the bench served as his best role while with the Warriors, winning a championship as the team's sixth-man and still being the third leading scorer overall on the team.

What could Jordan Poole's future hold in the District?

It is possible that the Wizards could look to see what Poole’s trade value will be this offseason, as rumors circulated the league that he may be on the trading block. With the rumors and all the clips on social media showing Poole’s subpar play, it is worth noting he is still a very good player and can serve as a very important piece on a championship team with the right system. 

Another key factor that may play a role in Poole’s performances is playing with Tyus Jones, who is more of a pass-first guard. Jones is a player who has the ball in his hands and controls the offense, while Poole is also a player who needs the ball to be effective. A lot of times during his time starting, you would see Poole just standing around on offense, waiting for the ball to come to him, with no cutting, and not a lot of off-the-ball movement.

Poole is a player who likes to create his offense on his own, and he is very good at doing that. This could be the reason why Keefe decided to have him come off the bench: Poole will have more freedom as he is not sharing ball-handling responsibilities with Jones and Kyle Kuzma in the starting lineup.

The Wizards have been a big disappointment this season due in part to Poole's early struggles. The coaching staff moving Poole to a lesser role, having him come off the bench, shows they are willing to make hard decisions for the benefit of the team. A big knock on Wes Unseld Jr. was his lack of adjustments with lineups.

W.U.J. would run with his lineups and wouldn’t switch up his game plan down stretches of games. Keefe, who was moved to the head coaching role this season, is already making moves to help this rebuild. Long term, we do not know if the coaching staff will keep the Poole Party as the sixth-man but we will see how the season goes.