The Golden State Warriors changed this era of offensive basketball with their many versions of small-ball lineups. During their five-year NBA Finals run that netted three championships, their small lineup was the envy of many NBA coaches and general managers who desperately tried to copy their schemes.
After a couple of seasons riddled with injuries and player development, the Warriors started their first playoff run in three years with a newer, more exciting version and have added another shooter to the mix.
The Denver Nuggets have had no answers to defending the Warriors when Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, and the newest addition, Jordan Poole, have shared the floor. Golden State has gone for momentum-stealing runs in the first two games that have changed momentum or put the game out of reach.
Jordan Poole drops a behind-the-back dime to Klay in transition ✨— NBA (@NBA) April 19, 2022
The @warriors are on a roll in Q2!#NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel on TNT pic.twitter.com/zsLzLaJyTf
This combination played only five minutes together in Game 1, but they outscored Denver by 14 points to shift the momentum sparking their 123-107 win. In Game 2, they played another five minutes, which led them to move the momentum to their side going into the second half.
After falling behind 43-31 in the second quarter, the Warriors erased that deficit by halftime with runs of 16-0 and 23-4 late to take a 57-51 lead at the break. The trend is not lost on Thompson, who forecasted this type of performance after Game 1.
“It’s a scary sight when we really get going,” Thompson said. “This is really only our first time really playing together.”
The story of this series so far has been Jordan Poole. Poole had yet another strong performance after a historic performance in Game 1, scoring 29 points while putting on another dazzling display that had the Chase Center crowd rocking!
Jordan Poole was dropping dimes and buckets in Game 2 to lift the @warriors to the 2-0 series lead! #DubNation— NBA (@NBA) April 19, 2022
Poole: 29 PTS (10-16 FGM), 5 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL, 5 3PM
Warriors vs. Nuggets Game 3: Thurs. 10pm/et on TNT#NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel pic.twitter.com/STMdXEiLIm
While the running joke around the team is will Curry ever get back in the starting lineup, SC30 was very impressed with Poole’s play to start the playoffs.
“He doesn’t lack confidence,” Curry said per ESPN. “That play embodied it. Because you just have the creativity and confidence in yourself to make that play. You don’t second-guess yourself. You kind of live with the results, and we’ve done it for years, and he’s stepping into that now. It’s fun to see.”
Game 3 of this, the Warriors-Nuggets series shifts to Denver on Thursday.