Kings’ Davion Mitchell explains why Jordan Poole is so hard to guard

Davion explains what makes Poole so hard to guard originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Kings guard Davion Mitchell is one of the NBA’s up-and-coming stars, and he has the perfect example of what hard work can achieve just over an hour’s drive away in Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors.

When the two Western Conference foes face off during the season, Mitchell is tasked with guarding Dubs’ sharp shooter — something he says isn’t easy.

On Tuesday’s episode of “The Deuce & Mo Podcast,” Mitchell told hosts Deuce Mason and Morgan Ragan why Poole is so hard to guard.

“He’s hard to guard because he’s skinny, he knows how to change speeds,” Mitchell said. “But I ain’t going to lie, every time we play him, I think I guard him pretty well. There’s never a time when it’s like, ‘Dang, he’s killing me.’”

The Warriors swept the season series against the Kings, but it’s clear Mitchell was able to pick up on exactly why Poole has developed into the player he is today. The Sacramento rookie’s familiarity with the Golden State guard dates back to before Mitchell was drafted, he told Mason and Ragan.

“Our pre-draft, we used to work at Proactive every morning and he was always there before us working out with his trainer, with guys,” Mitchell recalled. “So I kind of seen it, like I knew, ‘OK, this dude is going to be really good. But now, it’s like he figured it out.”

After being drafted No. 28 overall in 2019, Poole’s career trajectory got off to an up-and-down start with multiple G League stints. With hard work, he fought his way back to the Warriors’ roster and became a regular contributor to Golden State’s excellence, finishing the 2021-22 season with an average of 18.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

In contrast, Mitchell found success during his own rookie season; he was named to the NBA’s Rising Stars Game and even broke Kings records during his first year in the league.

But the brilliance of Poole’s ascension from G League player to NBA playoff star isn’t lost on him.

RELATED: How Kings GM McNair views Fox-Mitchell backcourt future

“He changes speeds really well, he can shoot the ball,” Mitchell continued. “So it makes it even harder to guard, because when you can shoot the ball with the best of them and then you change speeds like that, man, it’s like you kind of don’t really know what to do.

“You’ve got to basically hope he misses.”

It’s clear that Mitchell is impressed by Poole’s progression in the league, and it’s even more evident that basketball fans in California will have two talented guards to watch on the court for years to come.

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