INDIANAPOLIS –Orlando guard E'Twaun Moore understands his role. He is not the star as he once was with Purdue. He will not dominate stat lines or start most games.
But he will make an impact, both in numbers and leadership. He is a veteran presence on a young Orlando team that needs it.
“We have a lot of young guys,” he said. “I've been around a couple of years. I can use my knowledge to help us win.”
On Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, against the heavily favored Indiana Pacers, Moore did what he could. The third-year pro played the most minutes (25) of any Magic reserve in a 97-87 loss. He made 3-of-6 shots for six points. He had two steals, grabbed a rebound and got an assist.
“My role is come off the bench and provide energy -- whatever our team needs,” he said. “It might be shooting. Some nights it will be playing the point. It might be kicking, drawing a lot of attention and getting guys open. Just trying to be ready at any position and being efficient, whether it's shooting or just making the right play.”
Moore is in his second year as a major contributor after being a second-round pick for the Boston Celtics. He has career averages of 6.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 17.8 minutes.
“I'm better in my understanding of the game,” he said. “I know how to pick my spots and how to be in the right place at the right time.”
Moore is a teammate of former Indiana standout Victor Oladipo.
“There's no rivalry,” Moore said. “We're pretty cool. When (the college) basketball season comes and we (Purdue and IU) play each other, there might be a little talk.”
Purdue coach Matt Painter was at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night. Moore said he talked with his former coach before the game.
“He said little motivational things to keep me going. It was good.”
The Boilers were a national power with Moore. He won 107 games during his four seasons. He finished with 2,136 points, 400 assists and 164 steals. He also was three-time academic all-Big Ten.
Purdue struggled with a 16-18 record last year, but look to return to Big Ten relevance this season.
“They'll most definitely be better,” Moore said. “I played with them a little over the summer. They looked pretty good. Hopefully they make the tournament.”
As far as Orlando, the team is looking to build with a young roster. The Magic led the Pacers 44-40 at halftime before fading.
“It was a good lesson,” Moore said. “We played against a physical team, a playoff team. It let us know we have to play harder and keep fighting.”