Moody fights off cut eye in Warriors’ California Classic loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — Not even five minutes into his 2022 California Classic debut Sunday at Chase Center, it looked like Moses Moody’s night was going to be cut short. Literally.
Moody suffered a cut to his left eye at the 7:22 mark in the first quarter of the Warriors’ Summer League contest with the Los Angeles Lakers, a 100-77 blowout loss. With blood coming down, Moody was forced to the locker room. He received two stitches and made his way back to the floor with slightly over eight minutes remaining in the first half, sporting a tan bandage over his left eye.
What was the most frustrating for Moody came as a bit of a surprise. It wasn’t his vision being affected. It was the return of the loathsome nicknames.
When Moody sustained a black eye from an elbow early into his start against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 1, the rookie didn’t stop hearing the jokes from his older teammates. Now, they’re back.
“It sucks, because I just got rid of my nicknames after it happened earlier in the year, but they all came back,” Moody said to reporters. “Calling me ‘Bar Fight,’ ‘Captain Jack.’ They’re all coming back.”
The 20-year-old, who is expected to make a big leap in Year 2 and see a larger role next season, started off as the Warriors’ facilitator and was feeling out the game. He got going in the second quarter upon his return and finished the first half with a game-high nine points and one turnover.
Eleven seconds after his first bucket, Moody took a charge on the other side of the floor. That’s part of makes the Warriors so intrigued by the No. 14 overall pick in the 2021 draft. He already is a pro’s pro.
Moody doesn’t play like someone who was a teenager two months ago, and he doesn’t present himself like one either.
The Warriors’ starting lineup consisted of Moody, Lester Quiñones, Justinian Jessup, Gui Santos and Selom Mawugbe. Outside of Moody, that’s two second-round draft picks, two undrafted players and none with any NBA experience. Unlike what he’s used to at Chase Center, Moody was a victim of his surroundings.
He went scoreless in the second half, missed all five of his shot attempts and turned the ball over four times. Moody shot 3-for-11 from the field and 1-for-4 from deep. His minus-24 was a game-worst for both sides and lower than any plus-minus he produced as a rookie — in the regular season and the playoffs.
“For Moses specifically, I’d say a little bit of that, for sure,” Warriors California Classic coach Seth Cooper said when asked if Moody’s turnovers were more a result of not being used to his teammates more than anything else. “His ballhandling, his decision-making, his reads, his comfort level, everything — the more he’s in those situations where now other teams are trying to take him out and get him to not be able to catch the ball, that’s something he didn’t face really all year being the focal point of the team for us offensively. I think it was a little bit of everything, but the more he does it, the more comfortable he’ll be.
“We’ve all seen him be able to make all the plays. We wouldn’t put him in those situations if we hadn’t seen him do it in practices and know he’s full capable and confident doing them.”
Quiñones, the Memphis product who the Warriors signed to a two-way contract on draft night, scored a game-high 19 points and added five rebounds. He shot 6-for-13 overall and 3-for-6 on 3-pointers. This past season as a junior for Memphis, Quiñones shot 39 percent from 3-point range.
That’s a name to watch going forward, but Moody’s development to his overall game will continue to be near the top of the Warriors’ Summer League to-do list.
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