In this piece I’ll breakdown the other key core pieces of the New Orleans Pelicans — E’Twaun Moore, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle. Using the Jovian Archive and comparing those findings to NBA stats, analytics and eyeball tests, I hope to get a clearer picture of how effective this roster construction should be.
Note: Before diving into this piece please take time to read the introduction to the concepts utilized below in part 1. Also, if you missed Part 2 where I broke down Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Elfrid Payton — click here.
Note: Due to not having actual times of birth I used 8am, which is the most common birth time for humans. This could provide some variance to their actual charts, but they shouldn’t drift too far off course.
Projector: Projectors have a very open energy configuration. They take in energy from everywhere and project it out to help the tribe or unit, or in our case, the team. They are basically the role players in the universe, fitting in with those they are surrounded by and playing off of their talents to create an impact that benefits everyone. Projectors do not force themselves into a dominant role, but they wait for invitations to utilize their talents. When a projector has the patience to allow others to create a harmonious energy flow while waiting for their invitation to participate, a harmonious relationship is formed and the projector becomes an underlying key to empowerment. This is basically a renaissance sculpture of E’Twaun Moore — the 12.4 ppg scorer for the Pelicans, with a 16.1% usage rate and who thrives off of catch-and-shoot three-pointers.
2/4: The 2/4 profile is known as the hermit/opportunist profile. They seek a balance of being integrated socially and finding alone time. Their personality and demeanor lend to seamless social integration. Their alone time stems from a need to step back to allow ideas, energies and experiences to integrate in their culture. The 2nd line needs to be out of that flow of energy for it to integrate. However, the 2nd lines can’t just hibernate — their social skills are impactful and the others around them call for them to take part in the flow on occasion.
Moore clearly allows his teammates to be heavily involved in the flow of the game. He isn’t one to force himself into action. In fact, sometimes he becomes too much of the hermit — as evidenced by taking less than 10 shot attempts in 38 games and scoring under 10 points in 28 games last season.
However, the 4th line in his profile is all about seizing opportunity. As a 4th line, Moore should be aware of every opportunity to accept an invitation to contribute. This area of his profile requires stability in his network — a team with a clear hierarchy and plan is needed for him to truly thrive playing almost off of the coattails of others while making all of his energy contribute to the greater good no matter how small the doses. Again, everything you want in a role player. It’s also what makes him a catch-and-shoot specialist.
Split Definition: With a split defined definition, Moore has two separate areas of definition that are disconnected from each other. Those of this definition are naturally drawn to people that connect the open areas in their definition. In other words, they depend on others to be the best versions of themselves.
When a person who is split defined finds the right bond with the awareness to make decisions as themselves, then they have entered a fulfilling relationship. Perhaps, Moore has found this type of relationship with Alvin Gentry — similar to the relationship Gentry had with Raja Bell (another role player that blossomed under Gentry) as Jim Eichenhofer painted in this article previewing Moore’s potential impact upon signing in New Orleans.
“One guy (Gentry) showed me was Raja Bell, his numbers and how well he played and progressed in the system,” Moore said after Monday’s practice. “He talked to me about some of the previous guys and what to look for, and some of the ways I can fit into the system. “
Bell had been with three different NBA clubs prior to joining Phoenix and playing for D’Antoni and Gentry from 2005-08, then enjoyed the best stretch of his career, both individually and team-wise. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard flourished with the Suns, connecting on over 40 percent from three-point range in each of his three full seasons (Phoenix won 54, 61 and 55 games in that span). Similarly, Moore – a 6-4 combo guard – has been on three NBA squads (Boston, Orlando, Chicago) before signing with New Orleans.
“I think both of those guys have a toughness about them,” Gentry compared. “Raja was a very tough guy. I think they’re smart players. Both of them are capable of making shots, finding the open spaces on the floor. He just reminded me of Raja. He’s kind of a quiet guy, but has a sense of toughness about him. It’s very beneficial to have that kind of guy on our team.”
The Right Angle Cross of Planning: This incarnation could be seen as the used car lot salesman of the universal spectrum. It’s all about wheeling and dealing.
However, it’s less sleazy and more about being the great compromiser — giving up some for the greater good. It has heavy socialist leanings; a little self-sacrifice is key, but only if the payoff is worth it. The energy of this incarnation strives to be a part of the fortification, stability and growth of the community or team in which this person exists. Again, E’Twaun Moore has the human design chart that all GMs should seek to clone their role players off of.
Bonus Raja Bell Love:
Projector: Like E’Twaun, Mirotic is also a projector who draws his energy from the world around him and projects it to help us all. Mirotic in his natural self will not try to impose his energy, but instead wait for invitations to contribute. However, when looking at Mirotic’s game he is a more than a role player, with a 21.7% usage rate over his career. This could be Mirotic playing outside of his true self, or it could be that he receives more invitations. As long as Mirotic is in a harmonious relationship, where he is being chosen by his peers and not injecting himself into the flow, then his true nature and the team should flow in harmony.
Despite the somewhat high usage rate for a role player design style, I do believe that Mirotic operates within the flow of the team’s energy. We see this when he takes on playing the five, with his passing ability, by setting screens and how he makes himself useful by cutting when his shot is off. It’s why I bristle at all comparisons to Ryan Anderson. Anderson was a, or I guess still is, a ball stopping black hole of a shooter who takes possessions away from the offense’s natural flow. He doesn’t fit in seamlessly. I ran his chart for a comparison and as you can see — it is very different from Niko’s.
There’s isn’t a single similarity, which I believe a deeper study of their games outside of, “oh, they are both white and can get extremely hot from deep” will show.
4/6: Mirotic is a 4/6 like Elfrid Payton, and like Payton is still in the first stage of his life — remember the 4/6 profile is broken into three stages. While Nikola Mirotic has been in the internal investigation stage for the entirety of his career, he is poised to rise above the roof just before the All-Star break when he turns 28.
Niko hasn’t struggled to live up to expectations like Payton has in his first stage, but it hasn’t always been rosy either. He’s had his face broken by a teammate, he arrived in New Orleans and promptly encountered a massive shooting slump, he struggled from deep his rookie year shooting just 31.6% and he struggled to find consistency in his role in Chicago — bouncing in and out of the starting lineup. If Mirotic is true to his chart, we could see a late season surge as he learns from observing the experiences of others — though maybe he is a fast developer and he entered the second stage as he shaved his face.
Split Definition: Being split defined draws Mirotic to people who connect his areas of definition. Nikola’s quality of life depends on finding the right pairing: a partner who fills in the gaps and is open where he id defined. Therefore, it’s not much of a surprise that he and Anthony Davis fill in many of each other’s gaps.
In fact, Mirotic and Davis were such a seemingly perfect fit that it launched a million, “are the Pelicans better without Boogie?” articles, tweets and podcast discussions. Paolo Uggetti of the Ringer dug into how the Pelicans were surviving post Cousins on the heels of Niko’s razor burn in this piece for the Ringer.
If he’s hitting his shots, Mirotic is the perfect player for the Pelicans’ decision to double down hard on a speed-and-space system. (Since Cousins exited with the Achilles injury, no team has played at a faster pace than the Pelicans, who had played the sixth-fastest up to that point.) Mirotic’s combination of size, length, and outside shooting has opened up the floor for Anthony Davis. And with Rajon Rondo showing flashes of brilliance, and surprising defensive stalwart Jrue Holiday handling the ball, the Pelicans have been able to utilize a more fluid style than they used before Cousins’s injury.
“[They] created matchup problems for a lot of the teams. So, when [Cousins] went out, and all of a sudden, we had to change how we played altogether,” Gentry said. “What we’ve been able to do is create space, and we like to play that way simply because it puts AD in a situation where he’s in space and the double-teams can’t come quite as quick. It also gives us an opportunity to space out the floor for shooters, to drive it and kick it to shooters. We became much more of a stretch team again.”
The Right Angle Cross of Explanation: While comparisons to Ryan Anderson have been more frequent for Mirotic, he actually shares this incarnation with Dennis Rodman — which is probably a comparison no one was expecting. This incarnation is a unique method of self-expression. It is sometimes referred to as the, “freak to genius” channel. This is because the the idea that is coming through the channel is so strange or unique that it seems completely foreign and no one understands, but it can also be such a fascinating and unusual way of looking at things that can induce awe at the genius of the way the idea was communicated or cultivated.
Within this incarnation, there is also the ability to evaluate patterns or sequences to understand how systems work — this combined with the unique “freak” perspective can generate revolutionary solutions to problems — like becoming friends with a North Korean dictator and running parlays with him and the president of the United States in a country that has the death penalty for drug trafficking while having all of your expenses paid for by a cryptocurrency that is funded by weed sales — or shaving your face to beat a slump.
Bonus Slow-Motion Shaving Videos:
Generator: A Generator has a constant drive. Physical energy is continuously flowing providing an unwavering consistent energy. A Generator could be a bull in a china shop as Randle is often described for his constant banging and diving in the paint. However, Generators are most successful when they act in response to people or invitations to engage, civilizing the bull into a Minotaur. When focused, that reckless energy is channeled into positives — like Randle’s body transformation under the guidance of trainer, Amoila Jamil Cesar.
2/4: Julius is the same the same type of Hermit/Opportunist that E’Twaun Moore exhibits in his profile. This demonstrates that while Randle has that constant flow of energy and certainly injects his influence over the others in the community — leading a bit by example — he is also a willing role player that will wait for invitations to assert himself as well as sacrifice for the good of the community. Randle is certainly more of a ball dominate role player with a 25.3% usage rate, much of that rate is used up trying to create for others. He’s shown flashes of his creation ability with the Lakers, but in Alvin Gentry’s system he will have a lot more invitations to create, which should balance his ability to provide energy with his need to hibernate by creating to let the stars — Davis and Holiday — get more shine.
Split Definition: Like Mirotic and Moore, Randle is also split defined. This is key when juggling three players that essentially play the same position. Davis is the top of the pecking order and needs no one else to thrive. Mirotic and Randle are both defined with a level of co-dependence that makes them more comfortable when paired with a partner that helps complete their energy flow.
This isn’t a bad thing.
These are the kind of stud sidekicks that exist to make Anthony Davis shine. It’s the kind of fit that lead me to write the article about how this roster is the best construction that Davis has ever had to legitimately make a run at the MVP — as they will make him better while not stealing his glory. I’ve already shown you how Mirotic and Davis are natural fits, and with Davis not needing a sidekick, I now want to show you how well Mirotic and Randle fit with each other.
As you can see, this combination completes 8 of the 9 chakras, with only the G chakra overlapping. You’d be hard pressed to find a better fit for two people with split definition.
The Right Angle Cross of Planning 4: This incarnation specifies a planner — a planner that is able focus on the priorities of the group as a whole. This type of planner isn’t concerned with the energy or resources needed to execute the plan. This lack of concern isn’t concerning because as a Generator Julius is constantly flowing with energy; he can provide that for the team around him. Myself and many members of Pelicans Twitter have often suggested that they’d like to see Julius come off of the bench — not because he isn’t as good as Mirotic, but because his energy and ability to wreak havoc in the paint while also creating for those those who can’t create for themselves could help bench units while also allowing Randle to be the focus. The Right Angle Cross of Planning 4 seems to justify that notion — he can be the one formulating the plan for Chris Finch.
Bonus Highly Intelligent and Less Abstract Breakdown of Randle’s Fit:
In the final part of this series we will explore the deeper rotation players, with a focus on finding this season’s breakout candidate.