AL HAMNIK: East Chicago's Moore making a point in Orlando

2013-04-05T20:00:00Z 2013-04-09T22:45:10Z AL HAMNIK: East Chicago's Moore making a point in OrlandoAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
April 05, 2013 8:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Now at power forward for the Orlando Magic, No. 55, E'Twaun Moore.

E.C. Central grad E'Twaun Moore?

Former Purdue shooting guard E'Twaun Moore?

But, he's only 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds.

Your family doctor is probably bigger.

If you play for the Magic this season, you'd better be versatile and able to adapt.

And so we have E'Twaun Moore, occasional power forward, which is kinda like Jimmy Fallon playing middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears.

"Sometimes, with our game plan, we'll switch and I have to guard bigger people," Moore said, smiling. "I'm just trying to be versatile and do whatever it takes to stay on the floor."

Production is always a good place to begin.

Moore entered Friday's date with the Bulls averaging 8 points and 2.8 assists in 22 minutes per game, mostly off the bench.

But in 18 starts at the point, he was good for 11.7 points and 5.2 assists in 35 minutes a game.

"It's something I'm getting better at with knowing where to find people and making the right passes," Moore said. "It's still fun. I get to go out there and compete and there's nothing better than that."

Skipper Jacque Vaughn, straight from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree in San Antonio, loves hearing such happy talk on a struggling team.

"Overall, he's been good for us throughout the course of the year," Vaughn said. "We've played him at different positions but he'll be playing the '1' more now, handling the ball, shooting, guarding multiple positions."

But E'Twaun Moore at power forward? What was that about?

"He's guarded random people depending on our lineup," Vaughn said. "We have a lot of confidence in his ability to guard, so it'll depend on matchups.

"Everyone's playing small so I have to put guys out there who can defend and make shots. He's tough, without a doubt, so he fits."

The Magic need a quick trip to Lourdes to get center Nikola Vucevic (concussion), Arron Affalo (hamstring tear), Glenn "Big Baby" Davis (broken foot) and point guard Jameer Nelson (bruised patellar tendon) healed and ready to return.

Orlando had missed 190 games due to illness/injury compared to Chicago's 163. The story line on how banged up coach Tom Thibodeau's squad has been is getting older and more boring by the minute.

Fans are forgetting what Rip Hamilton looks like and we're still waiting for God to hold a press conference to tell us when Derrick Rose will return, since only He knows.

With five rookies on the roster, Orlando will watch the playoffs on TV while the Bulls continue fighting for the fourth seed and a homecourt advantage.

That won't stop E'Twaun Moore from playing like his hair's on fire.

"It's all first- and second-year guys playing," he said. "The future definitely looks bright. I hope I've found a home here. I like Orlando. I want to stay.

"I'll still watch (the NBA Finals) and learn. It's gonna almost be like study time but I'm gonna enjoy it, too."

Instead of reaching for the golf clubs or taking a long cruise to exotic ports, the ex-Purdue star will be working on his game and taking notes on the Finals.

These are the driven guys smart teams hold onto. 

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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