CHICAGO — E’Twaun Moore figures he’ll have 50 friends and family members in the stands when the Orlando Magic face the Chicago Bulls tonight at United Center.
His cheering section will see a lot of him.
Moore, a native of East Chicago, Ind., will start for the Magic as Jameer Nelson continues to recover from a strained groin and a strained hamstring.
“Any time you’re on the road the crowd will try to get in your head,” Moore said after the Magic completed their shootaround at the arena. “But you’ve just to stay cool and stay focused.”
Moore is in his second NBA season, and his first with the Magic.
On Sunday, he made his first regular-season start as a pro, and he continued to show he’s adjusting to playing point guard, scoring 15 points and dishing out six assists against three turnovers.
Moore entered this season known for his shooting ability, and he’s made 57 percent of his shots.
Magic officials signed him to a free-agent contract over the summer because they knew he could provide depth on the wing.
But they also saw potential for Moore as a backup to Nelson at the point, and Magic coach Jacque Vaughn has seen growth from Moore.
“A maturation already just within the month of seeing his decision-making, his confidence, his ability to make shots for us,” Vaughn said.
Nelson is with the team on this road trip. Although team officials haven’t said whether he’ll play Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis, it seems likely that he’ll sit out that game, too, rather than risk aggravating the muscle strains.
“I’m making progress — just treatment and rest and lots and lots of water,” Nelson said. “I don’t want to set a timetable, but I’m just going to continue to treat it and be smart about it and listen to the training staff and whoever else has to make the decision of whether I’m playing.”
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times