Frankly, I was surprised Moore got the start last night. So was Nick Friedell.
Here's a surprise -- Hoiberg goes with Moore to start. Gibson, Gasol, Butler, Rose and Moore. Snell goes to the bench.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 29, 2016
The reason for the surprise should be fairly obvious. He is seen as a role player that can fill in when other players get injured. Sure, Dunleavy is hurt, but that hasn't stopped Moore from having 12 DNPs this year and 3 more games where he played less than 5 minutes. That does not scream, "Hey, let's start this guy and play him 36 minutes!". It was 9 more minutes than he had played in any one game this year. The question is: does he bring more than Snell and McDermott? Well, let's look at it from a statistical perspective first.
Those are the per36 numbers for each player. Let's look at the advanced stats for the players in the same order.
That's a whole lot of meh. Did you guess who is who? 1 is McDermott, 2 is Moore, and 3 is Snell. There's a few things I notice. First, Tony Snell is not an NBA basketball player. Period. He's not even shooting the three ball particularly well anymore. His PER is a freakin 6.6. That's abysmal. McDermott and Moore look pretty close. However, Moore is getting more out of a smaller USG% than Doug. Almost one more steal per 36 for Moore as well. Moore also has a marginally better AST:TOV ratio. Here's the data I should have shown. Moore and Doug are basically identical in efficiency. However, I really think that given more minutes, E'Twaun will eclipse Doug by the end of the year. Moore is a career 75% FT shooter who is currently shooting only 62% from the charity stripe. I'm confident that percentage will go up by the end of the year. Now, let's look at where Moore really sets himself apart: team and individual defense.
Moore is a bit small for a SG, but not that small. DraftExpress lists him as 6'4 with shoes with a 6'9.5 wingspan. That's not too bad. Here are some examples of what E'Twaun can bring on the defensive side.
Rose has been a much better defender lately, and these mishaps have been fewer and far between. However, here Rose falls asleep watching the ball. However, something delightful happens. Moore notices this, communicates effectively with Rose, and they switch. No harm, no foul. Great awareness by Moore makes up for Rose not paying attention to his man.
Here, Moore does an awesome job of defending the pick and roll. Not only does he get over the screen, but he effectively ICE's the screen and keeps funneling the ball toward the baseline. What's really incredible to me is how quickly Moore gets over the screen and immediately back in front of Clarkson. He finishes with a great shot contest. Shout out to Taj who does a great job in his role as well.
Moore also defends off ball screens well. Here, the Lakers set a double screen. Moore once again gets over the screen and is immediately back in front of his man. He also gets into great help position on the Randle shot. This is the kind of defense you want to see.
For a comparison:
(Thanks to HungarianJordan for the awesome vines! Follow him)
If Moore can hit open threes at a decent clip and keep playing defense like this, he is much more useful than either Snell or McDermott right now. Hopefully Moore continues to play well and can be the temporary missing piece at the wing.