AL HAMNIK: East Chicago's E'Twaun Moore picking Spurs to win NBA title

2013-06-08T17:30:00Z 2013-06-18T18:36:46Z AL HAMNIK: East Chicago's E'Twaun Moore picking Spurs to win NBA titleAl Hamnik Times Columnist
June 08, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

For an insider's scoop on the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, ask E'Twaun Moore.

He's fought through Tim Duncan's jarring picks to confront Tony Parker's pedal-to-the-metal game.

He's guarded the unstoppable LeBron James, who turned down the lead in "Man of Steel" because of a previous commitment -- these NBA Finals.

As backup point guard for the 20-62 Orlando Magic, Moore's highlight reel remains a work in progress but the future is bright for this East Chicago native.

He's had little trouble holding his own against the NBA's elite teams, which bring us back to the Spurs and Heat. Who's his choice to win it all?

"The Spurs had a good team from the beginning; I like how well they play together," Moore said. "It doesn't matter who gets off that night. Each guy they bring in doesn't miss a beat.

"There's a reason they're playing for the championship."

Orlando went 0-4 against the Heat and lost both games with the Spurs, but Moore had decent outings, averaging more than 7 points in five appearances.

Defending Parker and James is no walk on the beach for any second-year player and usually requires drinking your weight in Gatorade just to keep up.

"(Parker's) a tough cover. The best (point guard)? I know he's right up there," Moore said. "He drives extremely hard to the hole. Keeping him in front of you is extremely hard for anyone."

And when the fearless Frenchman isn't blowing through the lane like a runaway truck, he's pulling up for jumpers from near and far.

You saw what Parker did in the closing seconds of the Spurs' win in Game 1. That incredible bank shot while stumbling, with hands in his face, and James nearly swatting it away is destined for the famous ESPN SportsCenter film vault.

The 255-pound James, built like a linebacker, has won four of the last five league MVP awards and is considered the best player in the world. Moore needs no convincing.

"His size. He's huge," Moore said. "But I felt I did well against Miami."

In a March 25 loss to the Heat at the Amway Center, Moore added some footage to his highlight reel by picking The King's pocket during one wild sequence.

"He tried to post me up," Moore recalled. "I went around him and stole the ball and that led to a fast-break. Our crowd went wild. There's a photo of it on the Internet."

The E.C. Central grad finished with 13 points and a team-high three steals. One day, those will be averages Magic fans can expect on a team with a cache of future draft picks and increasingly more salary cap space to work with.

"You can't be soft playing sports or you'll definitely get knocked on your butt," Moore said of the lessons he learned at Purdue and while growing up in East Chicago.

He's now enjoying the offseason while preparing for his summer youth camp June 28-29 at Central High School.

There are game skills to be taught and life lessons to be learned before any youngster's highlight reel can begin.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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