Understanding Jordan Poole’s hot streak and the plan going forward

Mar 27, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA;  dWashington Wizards guard Jordan Poole (13)
Mar 27, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; dWashington Wizards guard Jordan Poole (13) / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Since the All-Star Break, Jordan Poole has been on a hot streak. In the game against the Brooklyn Nets, he went off for a season-high 38 points. He’s been really cooking due to a number of factors: the new coaching style and him having the ball in his hands more. 

Since the break, he has played 19 games and averaged 20.8 points and 4.8 assists. He was coming off the bench in the first 12 of those games. For the last seven games, Tyus Jones has been out, moving Poole back into the starting lineup as the point guard. Over those games, Poole is averaging 21 points and six assists. The team is 3-4 during that period. 

The recent great play of Jordan Poole has been due to him having the ball in his hands more. He’s able to control the pace of his game, not having to rely on others to get him the ball.

During his time with the Warriors, Steve Kerr enabled Poole to go out there and do his own thing but stay within the structure of the offense. The Wizards, of course, do not have the same coaching and structure as the Warriors but for Poole to be more effective, he needs the ball. He’s not a player just sitting around waiting for the game to come to him. At times, he was the second-best option for the championship Warriors team in 2022 so he’s back in his natural habitat. 

Going forward, the Wizards should look to have Poole be the primary ball handler for their team. Next season, they can start him at point guard and have Tyus Jones as a sixth man off the bench since they don’t have a backup. Jones has been a backup for most of his career and has been very productive in that role. Poole as the center point of attack puts him in a position to be comfortable and engaged from the start of the game which will benefit him and the Wizards long term.