NBA experience: Seven seasons (two with Pelicans)
Games played/started: 82/80
He played in and started more games than he ever had in the NBA, while scoring and shooting better than he ever had, filling a role at starting small forward he’d never previously been asked to handle. Sure, a few New Orleans teammates are familiar names and register gaudier statistics than Moore, but perhaps no Pelicans player so consistently met and exceeded expectations in 2017-18.
“This was my best season without any doubt,” the Purdue product said May 8, after the Pelicans wrapped up their finest campaign in a decade. “Both ends, offensively and defensively. I just want to keep building on it and getting better.”
Moore was New Orleans’ top three-point threat (42.5 percent) and allowed the Pelicans to effectively rely on a downsized lineup that was quicker and more skilled than most teams they faced. Playing somewhat out of position as a 6-foot-4 forward, Moore sometimes was matched up against the likes of Paul George and Kevin Durant, but helped New Orleans rank fifth in the NBA in defensive efficiency over the final two months of the regular season.
“I showed my versatility,” Moore said. “That’s my biggest asset. Being versatile and being able to play multiple positions, guard multiple positions. I just try to help us win.”
Moore accomplished that objective often in ’17-18, shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 44.9 percent on treys during NOLA’s 48 regular season wins. He finished the playoffs with six consecutive games of double-digit points, on a postseason stage many never expected the Pelicans to reach. New Orleans and Moore are now hopeful that was only the start of what’s to come for the franchise.
“We achieved a lot and got a taste of what we can do,” the Indiana native said. “(The goal now is to) just get better. Keep improving my game. Get better, bigger, stronger.”
VOICE OF THE FAN
As part of our look back at the season, we checked in with Pelicans fans to get their feedback on 2017-18. Fifth in the series: What did you perceive to be the most valuable aspects of the contributions E'Twaun Moore made during his career-best 2017-18 season?
Very true. Moore raised his season three-point percentage from 37.0 to 42.5, despite firing 93 more times from beyond the arc. He has upped his attempts on deep balls from 104 to 208 to 301 over the past three seasons, starting with ’15-16 as a member of the Chicago Bulls
When you shoot a league-leading 57.8 percent from three-point range in December, as Moore did, defenders starting trying to chase you off the arc. Moore did an excellent job of capitalizing by lofting crafty right-handed teardrops in the lane.