Whether Poole starts is six of one, half dozen of the other, imo; but a key rotational development over the last several weeks is that Donte D has been leveling up into something resembling a better-shooting peak Iguodala — guarding the opponent’s best perimeter player, ripping boards left and right, reading and reacting at Kerrball speed, “connecting” stuff, making the high IQ play, draining threes when left open, etc. Not surprising that he’s been regularly crushing JP by plus-minus — team-high +24 last night, now a net +6.1 on the season, which puts him in a group with the starters, miles above JP and the bench mob.
The closing five is a bigger deal than the starting five. DDV was in that group last night (in place of JP), and to my mind has probably locked down that spot for the post season, with Steph, Klay, Wiggs, and Dray.
As far as that elusive “vet BIG,” I’m still with you, though I think there’s a world where JaMychal Green (14-10 per 36 on .601 TS and finally starting to stroke the three) has enough to be playable for the 5-15 minutes they need outside of the top 8 (starters plus Donte, JP, and Kuminga).
Not gonna get too excited about a two-game win streak with the team one game above .500 49 games in. But the fact that Steph is pissed off enough at the long run of mediocrity to toss his mouthguard bodes pretty well, I think. Last night he appeared to be in the same “pissed off MVP mode” from last year’s Game 4; if that guy starts appearing regularly, maybe they can start stringing together some wins.
As it stands: they’re one game back of the #4 Pels … and two games up on the #13 Lakers. Crazy season.