Wizards fans vindicated after Warriors Play-In Tournament collapse

Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors
Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

On Tuesday night, the Golden State Warriors traveled to the Golden 1 Center to take on the Sacramento Kings in the second of two Play-In Tournament games. Ahead of the matchup in Sacramento, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans to determine the Western Conference's seventh playoff seed.

From the very beginning of the game, the Kings had the upper hand against a Warriors team lacking explosive ability. Among the lackluster performances, which included an 0-of-10 shooting night in 31 and a half minutes for Klay Thompson, was the limited impact of Chris Paul.

Chris Paul's struggles spell disaster for Golden State Warriors

Acquired in the Bradley Beal trade last summer, the Washington Wizards re-routed Paul to Golden State in exchange for Jordan Poole, Ryan Rollins, Patrick Baldwin Jr., a 2030 first-round pick, and a 2027 second-round pick.

After a rocky start to Poole's 2023-24 season, the Wizards' front office was vilified for making the deal for the 24-year-old guard. Inversely, the Warriors' front office was praised as Paul averaged 11.3 points and 8.3 assists per game during his first four outings with the team in October.

However, the 38-year-old guard saw his role with the Warriors undergo some readjustment throughout the season, dragging his season-long totals down to 9.2 points and 6.8 assists per contest. Tuesday's matchup against the Kings was the latest example of Paul's waning effectiveness at the NBA level, scoring just three points in roughly 18 minutes off the bench for the Warriors.

With Paul's struggles, the Warriors were run off the floor by an inspired Kings team. The 118-94 final score was fueled by a 32-point performance from Kings forward Keegan Murray to which Golden State had no answer. For the first time in 14 seasons, CP3 will be absent from the playoffs.

Wizards fans take victory lap after Warriors miss playoffs

The 2023-24 regular season was a tale of two halves for Poole. The latter half, following the removal of Wes Unseld Jr. as head coach, featured the best version of the Wizards' young guard. Post-All-Star break, Poole averaged 20.9 points and 5.8 assists per game, a stark increase in production with his readapted role under interim coach Brian Keefe.

Following Golden State's elimination, fans took to social media to let it be known that the early season discussion regarding the Poole-Paul swap was not forgotten.

The NBA Play-In Tournament continues Wednesday night, leading off with the Miami Heat taking on the Philadelphia 76ers and wrapping up with the Atlanta Hawks challenging the Chicago Bulls.

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