E’Twaun Moore joined Alex Kennedy on the HoopsHype Podcast late last week and touched on several important points that deserve mention.
After talking basketball shoes — E’Twaun was a fan of Penny Hardaway, Gary “The Glove” Payton and Jordan kicks while growing up, Moore delved into his offseason program which has included a lot of work focusing on facilitation and finding different ways to get shots.
“Just different ways of creating shots, creating threes,” said Moore. “Last year, we had Rajon Rondo on our team and he did a lot of creating for us. He’s not there this year. I can be another guy that can help create shots and help create my own shots — shoot more threes maybe off the bounce and create in different ways to get threes.”
As a point of reference, the New Orleans Pelicans were one of the better pull-up shooting teams in the league (44.7 eFG% — 6th, 33.5 3PT% — 10th), but they were selective in seeking out these shots within the offense (20.5 FGA — 22nd, 6.0 3PA — 23rd). On an individual level though, Moore was really proficient (47.9 eFG%, 41.4 3PT%), but he very rarely looked to take these type of shots (1.8 FGA, 0.4 3PA). For comparison, Stephen Curry shot 40.4% on 4.5 pull-up three attempts a game, James Harden, 37.9% on 7.9 3PA and Devin Booker, 36.0% on 3.7 3PA.
When probed about positional preference, Moore ultimately said that he didn’t care where he played nearly as much as just being out on the court, yet push come to shove, he would enjoy spending more time as a guard again.
“One of the things that makes me valuable is that I’m able to play multiple positions — if it’s guarding bigger guys sometimes or playing the point if they need me to or playing on the wings,” stated Moore. “If it was up to me — it doesn’t really matter as long as I stay on the floor and help my team win — but I would like to say that maybe I hopefully could be playing a little bit more guard. Last year, I was more of a wing, but it worked out well for the team because we played so fast. But it would be kind of cool to going back to being a guard again.”
Moore was adamant about the fact that going small paid big dividends for New Orleans because having three ball-handlers out on the court made it difficult for opponents to stay with them.
Later in the pod, Moore talked about making the transition to small forward, and he claimed it was relatively easy because of the talent alongside. All he had to do was make shots because Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins were so good at creating and drawing attention. On the flip side, Moore also admitted that several teams gave the Pelicans trouble with their size, yet he enjoyed the personal challenge because he likes to play physical and it made him compete harder.
After mentioning he’s got the “best seat in the house” — playing feet away on a nightly basis next to AD — and giving support to a full season of Nikola Mirotic on the sidelines, Moore, gave all of his teammates and the city as a whole plenty of love.
“Basketball wise, of course, I like my teammates,” acknowledged Moore. “I have to give them a lot of credit — I’ve got a great group to hang out with. We all have fun. We all do events and hang out with each other on the road so I definitely like that. And the support that the city of New Orleans is starting to give us. At first it was mostly football, but now they’re starting to come over to the basketball side so its been pretty cool to see them excited. To see the gym packed out during the playoffs.”
To close out the podcast, Moore thinks Jahlil Okafor and his game will benefit playing next to Anthony Davis, expects the Pelicans to hold another mini-camp right before the start of training camp, and lavished praise towards Head Coach Alvin Gentry for giving the team the confidence and freedom to go out and just play.
If you’ve got time, have a listen to the podcast in its entirety!