How Moses Moody, Quinndary Weatherspoon played to end California Classic

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How Moody, Weatherspoon played to end California Classic originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO — On Sunday night in Moses Moody’s 2022 California Classic debut, it was the second quarter where Moody started heating up offensively after leaving early in the first to receive two stitches over his left eye. Two days later, Moody still was bandaged at Chase Center, but didn’t waste any time getting points on the board Tuesday in the Warriors’ 94-70 loss to the Miami Heat.

Moody scored eight points in the first quarter and finished with 13. After going 3-for-4 from the field after one period, Moody ended the day 5-for-15 and made only one of his seven 3-point attempts. His lone triple came after finding Gui Santos, relocating in the right corner, catching a wide pass from Santos and immediately letting it fly.

After scoring only one point in the second quarter, Moody scored four in the third and none in the fourth. He also added three assists, three steals, two rebounds and turned the ball over twice.

The Warriors are making sure the ball is in Moody’s hands during the summer. The 6-foot-6 guard/wing is being handed the responsibilities that typically are handled by more of a natural point guard. His basketball IQ and maturity is highly valued already by the franchise at 20 years old, and Golden State wants to make sure he’s more used to making quick decisions and getting his teammates in the right place.

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“We know Moses can really shoot the ball,” Warriors California Classic coach Seth Cooper said after the loss. “Someone that can shoot the ball and has size and defenses have to guard him, it opens up defenses and angles a little bit easier than some of the smaller guards who can’t see over the top, or guys that can’t shoot and teams are going under and staying in front of.

“Overall, I think you’re seeing his ability to do a lot of different things and remembering how young he is. That’s gonna be something that continues to evolve as he gets older.”

Although he didn’t shoot lights out from long distance, Moody had some strong drives and knows how to find openings for easy buckets.

Quinndary Weatherspoon joined Moody in the Warriors’ starting backcourt. Tuesday was Weatherspoon’s first game action of the summer, and first since playing four minutes in the Warriors’ regular-season finale on April 10, nearly three months ago. He also was away from the Warriors’ summer league group for a handful of practices while taking care of a family matter.

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There were flashes where Weatherspoon looked like someone trying to dust the rust off, and at other times, he showed why he’s pushing for a Warriors roster spot.

Weatherspoon, 25, played 25 minutes and put up a team-high 14 points. He went 4-for-10 and missed both of his 3-point tries. But he also scored six of his points from the free-throw line and only missed one attempt. The 6-foot-3 guard uses his athleticism to his advantage, and while Gui Santos stole the show on one highlight with a filthy pass between his defender’s legs, Weatherspoon showed his ability the finish at the rim.

In the third quarter, Weatherspoon had an impressive sequence that started with him intercepting an errant pass, taking it the distance down the court and absorbing contact for a three-point play.

Along with his 14 points, Weatherspoon also had three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block on a corner 3-point attempt. But he also turned the ball over five times and was called for six fouls — the limit is 10 in summer league.

Cooper, who coached Weatherspoon this past season for the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, is looking for Weatherspoon to make plays that translate to Golden State’s system, show he can make choices as fast as the snap of a finger and also be an efficient screener.

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“If he can get to be a better screener and decision-maker, I think those are things that really translate to being a productive player for the Warriors,” Cooper said.

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Every player is looking to improve all aspects of their game in the offseason, especially one possibly fighting for a roster spot. Weatherspoon isn’t any different. Finding his outside shot would be a big boost.

Over 11 games with the Warriors, Weatherspoon went 1-for-5 on 3-pointers and is 3-for-16 from deep in his NBA career. He shot 28.2 percent there in 20 G League games last season.

The Warriors finished 0-3 in the California Classic, but plenty of intrigue remains with James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Patrick Baldwin Jr. all possibly playing in the Las Vegas Summer League. Players and coaches are leaving for Las Vegas later Tuesday, with their first game being July 8.

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