If you look around the league, you’ll see a trend: Almost every team in the NBA has a 3rd-and-Ds specialist. They’ve been all the rage for the past decade, as nearly every team fills a roster spot or two with a winger who can play strong defense, and whose offensive role mainly consists of standing along the three-point line, catching and holding. Shooting is included. The opposing defense collapses.
I’ve always thought of prime Robert Covington as the Platonic ideal of the three-and-a-d wing, but there’s no shortage of examples to choose from.
With excitement, Golden State Warriors There haven’t been too many solid three-and-D specialists in a while. Otto Porter Jr. was an excellent choice last year, and it’s the only one in recent memory… Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson could There may be one, but he has a lot of offensive talent and a seat at the offensive table is too big to fit in that role. Damien Lee plays a bit of a roleplayer, but unfortunately, I think “no three-and-d’s” is probably the more appropriate descriptor.
Teams do not need a three-and-a-D wing, as the title teams before the Warriors were largely devoid of them. But my goodness they definitely help.
The Warriors enter the season as title-deserving favorites, but questions remain as to whether they have a three-and-D specialist on their roster. can make the case for you Offseason Extra Donate DiVincenzoThough he’ll likely fall into an offensive role that involves more slashing, cutting, and lashing out in infection than just walking around waiting for an open trio.
Which leaves us with Moses Moody.
It’s not entirely clear what kind of role Moody will play in his second NBA season, but it’s clear that the Warriors have a lot of confidence in him. That doesn’t mean they’ll give him some minutes he hasn’t earned, but you can be sure that they’re entering training camp with the hope that he’ll actually earn those minutes.
Moody began his rookie year by going beyond just shooting 4-for-33s. And then he scored 36 for 77, followed by a 7-for-13 performance in the playoffs. Anything guesses the performance of that second half and will have a “three” run of “three-and-d”, and then some.
If you read my player grades last season, you probably remember how many times I praised Moody for being unnoticed. It’s rare that a rookie can take court and not be actively noticed for doing a bad job, but that’s what Moody did. Moody’s finished with the best turnover frequency out of 17 players suitable for dubs last year, averaging only one for every 100 assets. He had the sixth lowest foul rate.
This is not standard procedure for a rookie. Jonathan Kuminga fouled almost twice more than Moody, and swung the ball three times more. This isn’t a knock on Cuminga – that’s to be expected.
Being able to play a game relatively free of errors is one of the defining characteristics of a good 3D wing. If you’re trying not to do too much, not stepping out of your role, and denying your good plays with meaningless mistakes, it lets both “three” and “d” shine.
Speaking of which Moody’s defense remains a bit of a mystery. He showed excellent defensive instincts and discipline a year earlier, although his lack of lateral speed worried some. It might stop him from ever becoming a lockdown defender, but it shouldn’t stop him from being a good one. He was making a solid defensive impact by the end of last season, so he definitely has something to build on.
Moody’s looks like a lock to be a strong 3rd-and-D option somewhere down the road, but that’s no guarantee it will happen this year. Still, with all the pieces on display so clearly, and a hole in the roster with their names on them, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.