Tim Legler Broke Down All The Things That Went Wrong Leading To Jordan Poole’s Last Shot

With 18 seconds to play in Game 1 against the Lakers, the Golden State Warriors got the ball down three with a chance to tie the game. Stephen Curry darted up the floor, with the Lakers bringing an immediate double to force the ball out of his hands. He passed to Draymond Green who moved it along to Jordan Poole, who proceeded to launch a 30 footer with over 10 seconds left in the game that came up well short.

After the game, Green insisted he was fine with that shot, noting how Poole had been hot from three all night, but it was hard not to wonder if the Warriors could’ve gotten a better look than such a long distance attempt. While much of the debate was about the shot itself, Tim Legler’s biggest issue was with the process that led to the shot, starting all the way back at when Curry started taking off up the floor. On ESPN’s Get Up! Legler offered up a tremendous breakdown of the play (4:20 of the above video) and how a number of factors led to Poole taking the extremely deep three, and how better process from Green and Poole in particular could have yielded a much better opportunity.

As Legler points out, Green and Poole are both late getting up the floor, meaning the Lakers have an easier job trapping Curry higher up the floor. From there, Poole doesn’t space out properly from Green, choosing to stand next to him rather than pushing up further to the wing and closer to the three-point line. Legler also wonders why Green didn’t put the ball on the floor given how much time he had to operate, to try and draw Anthony Davis back further and test Davis to see if he could fight the natural instincts to guard the ball. If Poole had been further out on the wing and Draymond had pulled Davis back, the Warriors could’ve set up Dennis Schröder to have to pick between chasing out on Poole or leaving Klay Thompson in the corner. Finally, he notes that while it was an open shot, shooting the ball from that distance is much more difficult when you are receiving a pass from the side rather than stepping into the shot with momentum, either off the dribble or from a pass being kicked out from inside.

It’s a really good breakdown from Legler and shows the value in what he brings to these discussions. So much of the talk is about the shot itself, without the context of how they got there and also the mechanics of shooting from that deep. By going that extra length, the conversation is less about Poole’s shot selection and more about how the Warriors, given their experience, could and should have done better in that situation to create a better look, either for Poole or Thompson in the corner.