Ask his teammates or players around the league to name the NBA’s most underappreciated player, and you’ll get plenty of “Jrue Holiday” responses. While New Orleans’ starting shooting guard may be the all-around player who gets the least recognition commensurate to his two-way contributions, the Pelicans also may have the NBA’s most underrated shooter.
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, New Orleans forward/guard E’Twaun Moore ranks 11th among all players in three-point percentage, connecting on 41.4 percent of his attempts (264 of 617). He was one of only three players to eclipse the 42 percent mark in both ’17-18 and ’18-19 (the others: Stephen Curry and Buddy Hield), while being a hot streak away from reaching that level again in ’19-20 (37.5 percent when play was suspended).
Here’s the chart of the NBA’s top three-point shooters since ’17-18 (minimum 500 attempts, via Elias Sports Bureau), a group that includes a who’s who of household names when it comes to accuracy:
PLAYER 3FG 3FGA 3FG%
Seth Curry 249 551 0.4519 … Younger brother of arguably the greatest shooter in NBA history, a truly elite marksman in his own right, at over 45 percent each of the past two seasons
Duncan Robinson 253 578 0.4377 … Technically a second-year pro, played in only one game in ’18-19; went 8/14 at New Orleans on March 6
Joe Harris 485 1113 0.4358 … After choppy start to career in Cleveland, developed into feared threat with Brooklyn; won ’19 three-point contest
Doug McDermott 294 687 0.4279 … Frequent address changes have not kept Indiana reserve from topping 40 percent in four of the past five seasons
Stephen Curry 578 1360 0.4250 … Golden State star owns three of four most prolific three-point seasons in NBA history; injuries limited two-time MVP to 49 attempts this season
Otto Porter Jr. 266 631 0.4216 … Like Moore, an underrated name in the elite shooting ranks, but Chicago forward only took 62 attempts this season due to injuries
Klay Thompson 470 1119 0.4200 … Five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA third teamer, but did not play in ’19-20 due to ACL injury during NBA Finals vs. Toronto
JJ Redick 589 1410 0.4177 … Now in Year 14 of career, is tied for 14th in all-time three-point makes (1,860) with LeBron James, while No. 17 in percentage (41.6)
Kyle Korver 388 931 0.4168 … Milwaukee 17th-year pro has been NBA season percentage champion three times, including scorching 53.6 rate in ’09-10 with Utah
Buddy Hield 698 1677 0.4162 … Former Pelicans lottery pick sank 278 treys in ’18-19, seventh-most in NBA history – only Steph, James Harden and Paul George ahead of him on list
E'Twaun Moore 264 637 0.4144 … Quietly, 31-year-old cumulatively above 40 percent over an extended six-year period, at 42.3 with Chicago (two seasons) and 40.4 with NOLA (four)
Dig a bit deeper into the recent numbers and you’ll discover that among players who’ve attempted at least 100 three-pointers in each of the three seasons (including the current partial one), Pelicans teammates Redick and Moore actually rank fourth and seventh, respectively, among all players to qualify.
This season, Moore only appeared in one of the Pelicans’ first six games, but after entering the rotation, shot 40 percent from deep in November and 48 percent in December, helping New Orleans dig out of an early hole in the standings.
“He’s a coach’s dream,” New Orleans' Alvin Gentry said on the April 26 episode of Pelicans Playback. “When they say that certain coaches are player’s coaches, well, E’Twaun is a coach’s player. The ultimate professional – he brings so much to our team – and he’s been in and out of the lineup, (but) it doesn’t bother him one bit. He’s always prepared to play.”
That approach has helped make Moore one of the NBA’s premier three-point shooters – even if he doesn’t have the national name recognition to match.