Sunday night against the Toronto Raptors, E’Twaun Moore continued to exhibit why he’s leading one of the years most provoking breakout campaigns. With J.J. Redick sidelined from flu-like symptoms, Moore erupted for 16 points off the bench, tying Arron Afflalo as the Orlando Magic’s leading scorer for the game.
Moore is now averaging 12.4 points per game, and has scored in double-digits seven of Orlando’s nine games. Among shooting guards he ranks he ranks 17th in field goal percentage at 44%, while ranking 11th from beyond the arc at 45%. He’s also ranked 22nd in true shooting percentage for shooting guards, ahead of the likes of Stephen Curry and Joe Johnson.
And while scoring is always an attractive stat, it’s his wholesomeness elsewhere that’s truly setting him apart. Moore currently ranks 13th(3.5) among shooting guards in rebounding per game despite his 6’4 frame, and 6th(4.3) in assists.
If you keep in mind that he’s had to play out of position as a primary ball handler in the absence of Jameer Nelson and the fact he’s doing so as a second-year player with shooting guard;s skill set, it’s pretty impressive.
Now that Nelson is finally back in the lineup, we should see a massive uptick in Moore’s efficiency. The Magic are 2-1 when Nelson is starting and Moore is taking less than 11 shots. In those contests he’s averaged 11.6 points, 3.6 assists and shot 51% from the field. It’s not so much that Moore struggles as a volume shooter, as it is a testament to his ability playing within the flow of the offense. In other words, Moore plays with elite efficiency when he’s not being asked to orchestrate an offense.
It’s also a statement about the defensive pressure a point guard faces in Jacque Vaughn’s system. As Nelson has actually averaged an atrocious 30% from the field and 25% from deep in that time. However, he’s also managed to average 8.5 assists over that stretch.
With Moore now able to focus solely on adjusting to the pro game and plauing within his own skill set, he could eventually become a very solid starting option alongside Nelson moving forward.