The first thing that comes to mind when watching Moses Moody play is the enormous well of maturity that his playing exhibits. He’s 20, just finished his rookie season where he played 52 regular season games, averaged nearly 12 minutes on the court and appeared in a few notable playoff games – and yet he has the balance to a league veteran.
Not to mention that he is already an NBA champion. Having Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as teammates helps immensely, but his contributions to this title race cannot be considered insignificant.
That’s why there was a certain level of expectation from Moody’s for this year’s Summer League. Because of being surrounded by high-level teammates and having experienced the highest level of basketball in the world, he should being able to dominate on some level against rookies and fringe NBA players.
In his first game in the Las Vegas Summer League, domination was indeed the key word: 34 points on 13 shots (5 of 7 in twos, 3 of 6 in threes), 15 of 17 in free throws, 5 rebounds , 2 blocks and an 83% true fire mark.
The very reasons he dominated may be the same caveats as to why this stat line should be taken with a grain of salt. The Greenhorns, fringe players battling for spots on NBA teams, and lifers in the G League aren’t the best measure of his true ability to stick with the big boys, but that’s not in no case indicative of someone’s development.
It’s hard not to be intrigued by Moody’s progress. He was brought in to succeed the Andre Iguodalas and Shaun Livingstons who once permeated the Golden State Warriors roster: a versatile wing who could profile as a game connector and occasional finisher on offense, and a highly switchable Swiss army knife on defense. .
We get flashes of defensive versatility. Game flashes have also been there. But what we get from Moody who could possibly edge out Iguodala and Livingston has been the scoring chops.
In a team that has a fairly established pecking order in terms of scoring and attacking priorities, Moody won’t see an upgrade in terms of usage and reps on the ball. He doesn’t have to be a pick-and-roll ball handler – but being a two-way playmaker and a spark plug that ignites the Warriors’ brand of basketball will go a long way towards becoming a rotational piece. fundamental.
The first Moody piece that caught my eye came from the California Classic. It’s that kind of streak that makes it hard not to be optimistic about Moody’s staying power in the league:
The deflection of the pass attempt to the backdoor cutter is the star of the footage, but the process leading up to it is equally impressive. Moody makes sure to keep his head on a swivel, keeping his eye on the ball while making sure his man is accounted for.
Also note the use of his left hand as a probe to ensure he doesn’t lose contact with his man, which also helps with pass deflection. Small but meaningful details like this make it hard to believe Moody is just a new Year 2 player.
To top off the two-way streak, Moody draws attention to the paint with a transitional downhill, kicks into the corner and immediately moves into the vacated corner for a three. Against Summer League defenses that are insensitive to the possibility of relocating all three, these types of shots are easy picks.
(Plus, it’s hard not to see Curry’s influence. Relocating threes are contagious if your teammate is the greatest off-ball shooter of all time.)
Moody’s commitment to being more of an off-ball motion shooter was palpable. The relocation threes are more of the situational variety, but the most common types – out of widescreens, staggered screens in Motion Strong, “Zipper” cuts, etc. – are handy fruits that Moody can grab.
Moody may not even command many moving shot reps like the one above – a wide screen down where he stops in his tracks and catches his defender trying to preemptively navigate the screen – but just like last season, he will have plenty of room – look up.
Arguably the biggest spot-three of his young career came on that possession in the Western Conference Finals, with Curry driving downhill, drawing help from the strong corner and kicking Moody for the shot:
(Moody’s defense that led to transition three is also to be commended. He shows excellent fundamentals as a low man against dribble penetration – he “traps the box”, which is the technical term for turning and show early help. He pushes the ball away and forces the turnover, which leads to the bucket.)
After making it to the top level, the spots seem to be going easy for Moody, especially in a relatively more relaxed atmosphere against lower competition:
Representatives of self-creation will be justified during the Summer League, and Moody had plenty of them in the first game. As mentioned earlier, his major league role won’t require a significant number of reps on the ball as a ball handler in the pick-and-roll, but it’s nice to have in your holster to get out of from time to time.
Beautiful wrinkles involving Moody were seen throughout the game. Arguably the most impressive was on this set play – an old one but a goodie:
If the above piece sounds familiar, then it should: it’s an old “Weave” piece the Warriors used to play extensively for Klay Thompson. Trying him out for a budding movement shooter at Moody’s reaped dividends, fouling and sending him to the line for two shots.
The offensive flashes were a sight to behold, but I’d say Moody’s defense was just as impressive. This possession stood out above all else:
His persistence and awkwardness around picks — and his ability to “go lean” — will go a long way towards Moody’s booming on-screen navigation chops, a hallmark of an above-average attacking point defender.
The Summer League is a time of overreaction that often doesn’t translate to the big leagues. Moody is a different case; we know he’s capable of what we’ve seen of him, because – despite the limited minutes and his place in the depth chart – he made the most of the reps given to him, both during the regular season and in the playoffs.
Seeing him evolve and progress into a true NBA-level wing isn’t too surprising – it’s what everyone has expected and hoped for from the start.