Coach Alvin Gentry named Moore the Pelicans' starting shooting guard to open the season prior to Thursday's 114-111 overtime loss to the Magic in the preseason finale, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Moore played only 20 minutes in Thursday's game and finished with seven points (3-9 FG, 1-4 3Pt) and two rebounds, but Gentry was likely limiting the newly-minted starter since he had been suffering from a sore heel heading into the contest. While No. 6 overall pick Buddy Hield still profiles as the Pelicans' long-term plan at shooting guard and should have a prominent role off the bench to begin his career, Moore outplayed him during the preseason and will be rewarded for his efforts. An underrated three-point shooter and a strong defender, Moore should offer the Pelicans steady play from a real-life perspective, but it may be tough for him to consistently hit double figures in the scoring column while Hield absorbs a good deal of the minutes at the position.
With Anthony Davis (ankle) also scheduled to return Thursday, the
Moore (heel) has been upgraded to probable for Thursday's exhibition finale versus the Magic.
Moore has dealt with a bruised heel over the past week and ended up missing the Pelicans' previous game against the Hawks on Tuesday. He's progressed enough in his recovery to be listed as probable, so it's safe to assume he's over the injury. Moore is competing with rookie Buddy Hield for rights to open the season as the team's starting shooting guard, but as it currently stands, Moore appears to be the favorite.
Moore sustained a bruised right heel during the Pelicans' last preseason game Wednesday, but it's somewhat surprising that he's been ruled out Tuesday considering he was able to return to practice over the weekend. The Pelicans are likely just exercising caution with the Purdue product, who is in competition with rookie Buddy Hield to open the season as the starting shooting guard.
Moore (heel) was able to resume practicing Friday, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Moore was removed from the Pelicans' most recent preseason game Wednesday against the Rockets with a bruise on his right heel, which had been sore in practice a few days prior to that. Fortunately for Moore, it's not being viewed as anything that's overly concerning, as he was back on the court in a full capacity two days later, with coach Alvin Gentry acknowledging that Moore likely would have stayed in the game Wednesday had it been a regular-season contest. The Pelicans' next exhibition is set for Tuesday against the Hawks, and it's expected that Moore will be available for that contest. He'll look to create more separation from Buddy Hield in their battle for the starting job at shooting guard.
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