Warriors guard Moses Moody got a surprise start in Golden State’s entertaining win over the Rockets on Monday, and the rookie helped his team pull ahead in the game’s opening moments. He hit a couple of shots early in the game, including a 3-pointer.
But throughout the contest, Moody’s willingness to play team basketball made a definite difference for coach Steve Kerr and the Warriors. Over 25 minutes of play, Moody kept the ball moving and didn’t stymie the flow of Kerr’s motion offense; Moody still scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-5 from 3-point land.
After the game, Kerr said his 19-year-old rookie — the No. 14 pick out of Arkansas — can make a “real impact” this season for Golden State despite limited playing time thus far.
Moody was just getting warmed up against the Rockets, however. On Tuesday, Moody proved Kerr right during the best performance of his rookie campaign to date. In a surprise win against the Spurs in San Antonio (the Warriors were without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and a host of others), Moody had 20 points, hit six 3-pointers, and displayed elite hustle.
Here’s a glimpse at Moody’s night from beyond the arc in San Antonio.
With Moody’s fellow rookie, forward Jonathan Kuminga, scoring 19 in the big win, it was a banner night for the Warriors’ reserves and younger players, including G Jordan Poole, who tallied 31 points and hit the final go-ahead bucket for Golden State.
Let’s get back to Moody, though. I was impressed with how he blended in with the offense in his first start of the Texas back-to-back. It was his first start in a long time, and he had been on fire in the G-League with the Santa Cruz Warriors, averaging roughly 27 points per game.
But he didn’t force it. In Golden State, that’s the key. The shots and the opportunities will come via Kerr’s motion offense. For some, it takes a while to learn (see Poole, honestly). Moody seems to be a fast study. And his 3-point shot, defense, and effort appear top shelf.
So it’s easy to see why Kerr thinks Moody can make a real impact this season. He’s learning the Warriors way rather quickly. He’s on a stacked team, unlike Poole was as a rookie, and he’s going at a steady pace, on and off the floor. Luckily for Moody and Golden State, the playoffs don’t start until April.