CHICAGO -- As a rookie last season with the Boston Celtics, E'Twaun Moore played a total of one minute in two games on the road against the Chicago Bulls while his family and friends made the short trip from his home in East Chicago, Ind.
As Moore sat at his locker in the United Center and divided tickets for his family and friends on Tuesday, he was more optimistic about playing the Bulls again. A year later, a lot has changed for Moore.
For one, Moore now wears an Orlando Magic uniform after being a part of a five-player trade in the offseason. Secondly, he’s now starting in the backcourt and doesn’t have to worry about playing time after having to battle for it last season.
“It’s good to see all my family and all my friends,” Vaughn said prior to the game. “They’ve come to the game. They don’t get to see me play often, so they come here to see me play. It’s definitely a good feeling. It should be fun.”
In his second season, Moore, a former Big Ten star at Purdue, has made the most of the opportunity given to him by Magic first-year coach Jacque Vaughn through the season’s first two games, averaging 14 points, four rebounds, 4.5 assists and 31.5 minutes in two wins.
“I had no preconceived notions coming in meeting guys,” Vaughn said. “For me, (Moore) was going to have the opportunity to play basketball and he’s done that.
“He’s done a great job of fitting in, of being a guard for us, making shots, playing with confidence and he’s done a really good job when called upon.”
A groin injury to point guard Jameer Nelson has assisted in increasing Moore’s playing time. Nelson missed Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns due to the injury, and Moore was thrust into the starting lineup and came through with 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. It was his most well-rounded NBA performance.
Moore credited his improvement in his second season to playing more and a better knowledge of the NBA game.
“I didn’t exactly change,” said Moore, who concentrated in the offseason improving his point guard skills. “I just think getting stronger, just learning, being a student of the game. That’s the most important part.
“In Year 2, of course, the playing time, getting an opportunity to go out and play. Any time you get to play, you just try to go out and do your best. Of course, I got a better knowledge of the game. The more you play, you definitely get a better feel for it.”
Vaughn has also played a role in Moore relaxing more while on the court.
“He just tells me go out and play,” Moore said of Vaughn. “Don’t think too much about the game. Let it feel natural and I make good decisions. That’s basically it.”
Moore’s early play has caught the eye of others. Moore won’t be flying under the radar of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on Tuesday night.
“E’Twaun Moore is an excellent young player getting established in this league,” Thibodeau said. “We’re going to have to guard (the Magic) with a five-man mentality.”