Moses Moody

Kerr explains how Wiggins' return to Warriors impacts Moody's role

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SAN FRANCISCO – With Andrew Wiggins back in the mix after a brief sabbatical to take care of personal issues, Moses Moody is headed back to the Warriors’ bench and still should figure heavily in Golden State’s rotations.

Moody started all four games that Wiggins missed, putting up respectable numbers on the offensive end while helping the Warriors out on the defensive side of things.

The No. 14 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft averaged nearly 25 minutes of playing time during that stretch and probably won’t get that much run going forward, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he plans to keep Moody an integral part of the mix.

“He’s earned it,” Kerr said following practice Tuesday at Chase Center. “He’s really just been so professional about everything since the day he walked into this building 2 1/2 years ago. He’s a pro. I’m excited to continue to get him some minutes

The Warriors went 3-1 in the four games that Moody started in place of Wiggins and are 6-2 in games that he has started during the 2023-24 NBA season.

The 21-year-old has been one of Golden State’s steadiest reserves and has done his finest work coming off the bench. He has reached double figures in 14 of the 38 games he’s played in as a backup this year, matching his season high of 21 twice.

Moody’s numbers obviously increased as a starter, and the hope is that he’ll continue to produce now that he’s headed back to the bench.

During Golden State’s recent four-game road trip when Moody stepped in for Wiggins, Kerr applauded Moody’s work on the defensive side. He specifically pointed out Moody’s work against Jalen Brunson during Thursday’s win over the New York Knicks, when Brunson scored 27 points but needed 25 shots to do so.

“He knows the league better,” Kerr said of Moody’s progress. “He understands personnel, he understands angles and how to guard people on the ball, off the ball. All that stuff, for young players, it takes time to learn. And the learning never stops. You’re constantly having to get to know the new players in the league, and how teams are playing and what actions they’re running. He’s very well prepared for everything that comes his way.”

The Warriors have had a strong bench all season. Averaging 42.9 points a game, Golden State’s reserves are third in the NBA in scoring behind the Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz.

During the recent four-game road trip when Moody started, those numbers dipped a little.

The bench was limited to 37 points or fewer in games against the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks, and were outscored in three of the four games, the lone exception coming against the Washington Wizards when Golden State held a dominant 59-15 advantage.

It’s safe to assume the trend will flip back in the other direction now that Moody again will be a big part of the bench squad.

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