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Nets 102, Wolves 83: Less is Moore

Wendell Moore Jr. flashed in an otherwise disappointing nightcap in Las Vegas

For the second straight game, the Minnesota Timberwolves shot below 40% from the field in a Summer League loss, this time coming at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets.

But it’s not the story! The two rookies vying for minutes when the regular season comes around continued to shine in spurts.

Josh Minott had another poor showing from the field, but continued to stay aggressive and attack the basket. He showed great burst in getting to the hoop and despite a rough field goal percentage overall, shot 60% from 3 (3/5). Hand in hand with that, he was fantastic out of the corners. Very Jaden McDaniels-y type of performance. He had himself another double-double with a 14-point, 12-rebound performance. Efficiency will be essential to tighten up for him moving into preseason games with better players (given he gets minutes).

All About Moore

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I talked about it briefly in last game’s summary, but one thing that sticks out about Moore is his want to shoot the ball despite it not falling. It’s clear the Wolves are asking him to do more than he’s used to in order to evaluate his strengths and weaknesses, but tonight it came together better, including his shot.

Moore finished shooting 45% from the field and had himself a legitimate 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists. He continued showing active hands on defense, and was a willing passer.

The big thing I noticed tonight is the simplification of his game. He was quick and decisive in getting the ball up the court, never hanging onto it for too long, and continued to find his spots confidently. He had an incredible pass in the third quarter with about eight minutes left in collapsing the defense and whipping the ball out with two defenders on him. He showed similar vision in the first quarter as well, finding Minott for one of his three 3s.

How Does He Fit?

Saying it outright, Moore’s style of play reminds me of Patrick Beverley. He does a little bit of everything as a guard, but isn’t particularly elite at any one offensive aspect of the game. Moore does show the ability to find the open man and make plays, as was evidenced by the little bit of pick and roll he ran, especially in the second half, where made quick decisions.

But he can be legit on defense. He’s averaging 1.5 steals so far in Summer League, along with Josh Minott, one of the better totals among people who have played in as many games. He’s super agile on the perimeter and is surprisingly effective and getting over screens, something I figured may take a little longer to figure out at the NBA level.

He may not play 20 minutes a night at first, but I would have a pretty decent guess in that trading Pat Bev to Utah in the blockbuster Gobert move, while the intangibles will not be able to be replaced, the Wolves are confident in molding Moore into a similar player that they can use in Swiss Army knife situations right away.

While he was up and down, it was nonetheless encouraging to see him close out Summer League on an individual high note. The team? Let’s just say I won’t miss watching...