Moody impresses in Warriors’ final California Classic game

SAN FRANCISCO — Moses Moody has a championship ring at the ripe age of 20, but he has plenty of room to grow as his responsibilities may expand next season.

He’s shown a knack for playmaking and ball handling in his first two Summer League games of this offseason, including in a strong first half of the Warriors’ 94-70 loss to the Miami Heat to close out the California Classic on Tuesday afternoon in an empty Chase Center. The Warriors lost all three of their California Classic games and will now head to Las Vegas.

Moody rocked a Band-Aid over his left eye to protect the two stitches he received during the Warriors’ prior game Sunday. Bruised up, Moody scored 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting with a 3-pointer on seven attempts. His three assists don’t do justice to his ability to make plays.

He shined most in the first quarter, gliding past Miami’s defenders to the rim. He showed his strength and length in back-to-back possessions, first fighting through foul contact for a bucket and, minutes later, splitting two defenders for a breezy layup.

Don’t expect Moody to have primary ball-handing skills during the regular season, but any aptitude he shows there should expand his role. Getting the ball in Moody’s hands was a goal during his G League stint last year, according to Seth Cooper, the Santa Cruz Warriors and California Classic head coach.

“It’s something he’s going to keep getting better at,” Cooper said. “He made a lot of really good plays.”

Moody’s ability to use his size and length to get to the rim, paired with his 3-point shooting threat, creates angles that keep defenses honest and “opens things up a little bit easier than some smaller guards who can’t see over the top,” he said.

Moody was disruptive on defense, too. On one play, he got his hands on a pass to a Heat backdoor cutter and found Gui Santos in transition, who sought out a relocating Moody in the corner for a 3-pointer. That defense-to-offense sequence was signature Warriors basketball.

Quinndary Weatherspoon had a sloppy game statistically with six personal fouls and five turnovers. He missed the team’s first few practices at Summer League to tend to a personal matter at home. That has showed in his conditioning as he was slow to warm up on Tuesday.

Cooper took some of the blame off Weatherspoon for the turnovers.

“The biggest thing talking to him is making quick decisions,” Cooper said. “That’s something I could have done a better job coaching him on. Instead of coaching him to be a really, really good G League player and dominate at that level, help him prepare for what’s going to translate to play for the Warriors.”

But Weatherspoon caught a second wind and made some impressive plays, including a steal and and-1 in transition in the third quarter. He also showed some chemistry with Moody, finding him cutting for a flashy dunk.

Weatherspoon finished with 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting and three rebounds.

Second-round pick Gui Santos continued his strong showing with an efficient 12 points, including going 3-for-4 from 3, and four assists. He nutmegged a Heat defender, passing between the legs of Miami’s Haywood Highsmith, to Weatherspoon for his flashiest assist.

After Santos’ 23-point game against the Kings in his Summer League debut, defenses started focusing more on him over the last two games. Cooper said he advised Santos that he’ll grow his game by making adjustments.

“Just taking what the game gives him, and I think he did a good job of that today,” Cooper said. “I think he’s really willing to learn and eager and wanting to get better. As he gets development, there’s a lot of potential for him to grow as well.”

Contributed by local news sources

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