Like Moses Moody, Quinndary Weatherspoon played to finish California Classic

SAN FRANCISCO — On Sunday night in Moses Moody’s 2022 California Classic debut, it was the second quarter that Moody heated up offensively after going early in the first to receive two stitches above his left eye. Two days later, Moody was still bandaged at the Chase Center but wasted no time scoring points on the board in the Warriors’ 94-70 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Moody scored eight points in the first quarter and finished with 13 points. After walking off the field after a 3-on-4 period, Moody finished the day 5-on-15, making just one of his seven 3-point attempts. His lone three came after he found Gui Santos, shifted to the right corner, caught a wide pass from Santos and immediately let it fly.

After scoring just one point in the second quarter, Moody scored four in the third and zero in the fourth. He also added three assists, three steals, two rebounds and turned the ball over twice.

The Warriors make sure the ball is in Moody’s hands this summer. The 6-foot-6 guard/wing is assigned the duties more typically performed by a natural point guard. His basketball IQ and maturity are already highly valued by the franchise at just 20 years old, and Golden State wants to make sure he’s used to making quick decisions and putting his teammates in the right spot.

“We know Moses can really shoot the ball,” Warriors California Classic coach Seth Cooper said after the loss. “Someone who can shoot the ball and has size and defense has to guard it, 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 who can’t shoot and teams go under and stay ahead.

“Overall I think you see his ability to do a lot of different things and remember how young he is. That will evolve as he gets older.”

While he hasn’t shot lights from long range, Moody has had some powerful drives and knows how to find openings for simple buckets.

Quinndary Weatherspoon joined Moody in the Warriors’ starting field. Tuesday was Weatherspoon’s first game action of the summer and the first since he played four minutes in the Warriors’ regular-season finals on April 10, nearly three months ago. He was also away from the Warriors’ Summer League group for a handful of practices while attending to a family matter.

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

Weatherspoon, 25, played 25 minutes and posted a team-high 14 points. He went 4-for-10 and missed both of his 3-point attempts. But he also scored six of his points from the free-throw line, missing just one try. The 6ft 3 guard uses his athleticism to his advantage, and while Gui Santos stole the show on a culmination with a dirty pass between his defender’s legs, Weatherspoon showcased his ability to land on the rim.

In the third quarter, Weatherspoon had an impressive sequence that began with him intercepting a faulty pass, putting it on court over the distance and absorbing contact for a three-point play.

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

Cooper, who coached Weatherspoon for the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz last season, is looking for Weatherspoon to make plays that translate to Golden State’s system to show he can make decisions so quickly like snapping fingers and also a man can be more efficient screener.

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

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Every player tries to improve all aspects of their game during the off-season, especially one who may be fighting for a roster spot. Weatherspoon is no different. Finding his outside shot would be a huge boost.

In 11 games with the Warriors, Weatherspoon went 1-5 with 3 points and is 3-16 deep in his NBA career. There he shot 28.2 percent in 20 G-League games last season.

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

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