E'Twaun Moore was signed to give the Pelicans some consistency when called upon and so far he has done exactly that.
The 55th pick in the draft, it’s a bit of a surprise that E’Twaun Moore has lasted this long in the league. Originally selected by the Boston Celtics, Moore bounced around quite a bit over his rookie contract. He eventually landed on the Chicago Bulls, where he carved out a nice niche for himself as a three-point shooter and secondary ball handler.
The New Orleans Pelicans, who needed both of those things after losing Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson to free agency, as well as Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans to start the season for personal reasons, and injuries, respectively, signed Moore to a four-year, 34 million dollar deal in the offseason.
So far, he’s started every game in which he’s been available and has proven to be a steadying force for the team whenever they need to move away from Anthony Davis for a few possessions.
He hasn’t displayed the long-range marksmanship of last season, but Moore has been very efficient in other areas. He’s shooting a career-high percentage inside the arc and that stems from his ability to dominate from two key areas on the court.
Moore is shooting a career high from 3-10 feet and from 16-23 feet. Moore is only an average athlete by NBA standards, so getting all the way to the paint can be a bit of a struggle for him. Instead of forcing things, Moore has shown a proclivity for stopping just short of that restricted area and lofting floaters over opposing big men.
Standing at 6’4, Moore isn’t big for a two-guard, but the Pelicans have shown a willingness to use him in the post, albeit rather sparingly. He doesn’t have a wide arsenal of moves, but it does allow him more opportunities to flash his in-between game.
Moore has also displayed some of the playmaking abilities the Pelicans had hoped for upon acquiring him. He’ll never be confused for a floor general, but he can make simple passes, and he takes care of the ball. Currently, he has the second lowest turnover ratio of any player on the roster. The team’s assist percentage and turnover ratio as a whole also take a turn for the worst when Moore is on the bench.
Despite all of the good things he has done handling the ball, Moore does struggle at times creating for himself and others. Because the Pelicans have been missing so many heavy usage players for most of the season, role players like Moore have had to overextend themselves and that has played into the team’s early struggles.
However, with Holiday back in the lineup and an Evans’ return imminent, Moore should be able to shift back into the role which he was intended to have all along. If he can continue to produce as a fourth or fifth option as opposed to a third option, the Pelicans will be in good shape as the season moves along.