Warriors Get Surprise Performance From Little-Used Rookie as Starter

Moses Moody

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Moses Moody

Golden State Warriors rookie Moses Moody got his second career start on Monday night in the team’s 122-108 win at the Houston Rockets. Moody was inserted into the starting lineup after veteran Otto Porter Jr. was ruled out, due to left foot injury management. The news that Moody was starting was surprising, given he had only played in two of the Warriors’ last ten games.

In the start, Moody scored 11 points, grabbed two rebounds, dished one assist, and blocked a shot in 25 minutes of play. He tied his career highs in both points and minutes. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, there was still plenty to like about Moody’s performance.

Showing Improvement

One thing that really stands out from Moody’s performance on Monday night, is that he had the best shooting night of his rookie season. He made a career-high three three-pointers, shooting 60% from three and 57.1% from the field.

Prior to Monday’s game, Moody had really struggled with his three-point shooting. He had shot just 5-34 from three for a lowly 14.7%. The Warriors had to feel like it was just a matter of time before his shot started to fall, after the way he’s performed in the G-League.

During his time with the Santa Cruz Warriors, this season Moody has torn the G-League up. He’s been averaging 27.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Moody has shot the ball well also, making 57.8% of his two-pointers and 37.5% on three-pointers.

The Warriors gave Moody a big vote of confidence giving him the start over more experienced players like Jordan Poole, Gary Payton II, and Damion Lee. The team was rewarded by his play and head coach Steve Kerr was clearly impressed with what he saw.

“Moody was great,” said Kerr, “he just knows how to play. He’s tough, he’s physical, he’s got long arms…good defender, you know he understands angles, understands verticality and he’s an excellent shooter. I think he knocked down three 3’s tonight, he spaces the floor, he knows when to shoot…he knows how to play. He’s done such a great job all season of competing day in and day out in practice in Santa Cruz, in scrimmages, in the final two minutes when we put him into a game that’s in hand. He’s just consistent with his effort and his approach. He’s wise beyond his years and a very talented player, so really excited about Moses.”

Reason to be Excited

If Warriors fans already weren’t excited about Moody’s future, Kerr’s comments and his play last night certainly have piqued your interest. Kerr wasn’t done talking about him either.

“He’s handled everything beautifully, he had a great game in Austin last night for Santa Cruz and I’ve been trying to get him out there and give him a real opportunity for a while, I just believe in him and I think he’s got a real chance to make a big impact for us the season, so he’s put himself in a great spot.”

That’s a big endorsement from Kerr and is plenty of reason to be excited about Moody’s future. The Warriors 2021 draft class is showing a lot of promise between Moody and Jonathan Kuminga. Both seem to be carving out roles and could make the Warriors a deeper and more dangerous team come playoff time.


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