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CP3's absence creates opening for Moody in Warriors' rotation

CP3's absence creates opening for Moody in Warriors' rotation originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO -- The chants from a small pocket of Warriors fans inside Chase Center Friday night began early, growing in volume until the third quarter, when the sellout crowd joined in.

“Moooody . . . Moooody . . . Moooody.”

They wanted Moses Moody. Wanted him on the floor, hoping could inject a jolt of energy into his teammates, whose lethargy was evident in their performance against the lowly Detroit Pistons.

The fans got what they wanted. And there likely will be more Moody appearances in the coming weeks.

Early in the fourth quarter, Moody rose from the bench where he’d spent the previous three games, headed for the scorer’s table, and checked in with 9:55 remaining.

Moody was back on the court. And he should refamiliarize himself with its dimensions, as well as his teammates, because his path to playing time suddenly looks much clearer.

Chris Paul, who leads the Warriors in point guard minutes, left the floor in the third quarter clutching his left hand. He was diagnosed with a fracture that will require surgery. There is no timeline, but the hope is that he could return sometime in March.

CP3’s absence, along with those of Draymond Green and Gary Payton II, create vacancies that can be filled with additional minutes from Brandin Podziemski, as well as Cory Joseph and Moody, the twosome that has existed mostly on the furthest reaches of the Golden State bench.

“Both Brandin and Cory will play more at the point,” coach Steve Kerr said. “And it probably brings Moses back into the rotation because you’re replacing 30 minutes from Chris. We won’t replace all those minutes with one guy. We’ll probably spread them out.”

Moody had not played since Dec. 28 -- 11 points in 13 solid minutes in a 114-102 loss to the Miami Heat -- before taking the court Friday. The 2021 lottery pick played only six minutes against the Pistons and did not score.

Moody is more of a wing than a point guard, but the movement within the rotation will give him opportunities. He has earned that much.

“He was great tonight,” Kerr said. “He brought a lot of energy. It was great to hear the fans chanting his name. He’s a fan favorite for a reason. He plays hard. Being out of the loop the last few games has been tough on him, but he always stays ready. So, I’m excited to get him back in there.”

So, too, are the fans who have been yearning to see Moody leave the bench and get his turn in the rotation.

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