The Amazing Fit of Eric Gordon In Houston
When the Houston Rockets signed guard Eric Gordon to a 4-year, $53 million deal, it seemed like a significant investment in a player whose career has been riddled with injuries. However, through 39 games, not only has Gordon remained durable, but he’s become incredibly reliable and has emerged as Houston’s second best player, and maybe their most impactful shooter.
|1||Stephen Curry, PG||144||359|
|2||Eric Gordon, SG||145||353|
|3||James Harden, SG||118||339|
|4||Klay Thompson, SG||113||295|
|5||Trevor Ariza, SF||107||284|
|6||Wesley Matthews, SG||105||282|
|7||Kyle Lowry, PG||121||277|
|8||Ryan Anderson, PF||108||263|
|9||Zach LaVine, PG||106||259|
|10||Damian Lillard, PG||89||252|
“The good thing is that we have great chemistry here,” Gordon told Basketball Insiders. “Everybody has one goal, and that’s to be solidified in their role and trying to be a championship caliber team. The chemistry that’s been here is what has been helping us get over the top.”
Usually, change at the level the Rockets made this season takes time, especially with a new coach with a totally different philosophy. However, the Rockets hit the ground running and haven’t looked back.
“I think we fit this style of play,” Gordon said of the new additions. “I mean, me and Ryan, we bring a lot of the three-point shooting, we space the floor, and it really allows me to play my game and be a dynamic playmaker, and just come out there firing off the bench.”
On the season, Gordon has attempted 353 threes, connecting on 145 of them. To put that into perspective, Gordon has attempted almost as many threes as some entire teams in the NBA have made.
Gordon’s production has prompted more than a few teammates, including James Harden, to campaign a little for Gordon to be in the 2017 NBA All-Star game. Gordon has seen the love from his teammates.
“I think I have a chance because of our record,” Gordon said. “If you want to be an All-Star you’ve got to help your team win. There are a lot of good players on every team and from all around the world, but you got to help your team win, so I think that I have a chance.”
Predicting who will or won’t be an All-Star is far from an exact science, especially when you factor in that NBA coaches select the reserves and they tend to reward winning teams over individual production.
Now before we get too far into this, let’s keep this in mind: the West is loaded with deserving guards that get snubbed every year, so Gordon as an All-Star might be a little bit of a stretch.
But Gordon in the three-point shootout seems like easy math.
“I would do it,” Gordon said confidently. “I’m pretty sure a couple of other guys would. The style of play really helps that, and we’ve always been pretty good shooters, but it really helps us in the style of play.”
Gordon was also not shy about his confidence as a shooter, especially when asked who the best shooter on the roster is.
“Me,” Gordon said bluntly. “Yeah, no question.”
This year’s All-Star festivities will take place in New Orleans, where Gordon spent five injury-plagued seasons. Being named to any of the events in New Orleans would be a little bittersweet for Gordon, especially because the narrative surrounding him was always bad.
“The thing is everybody likes to talk about the negative while I was there,” said Gordon. “I will say the positive thing is we went to the playoffs once, and it was a total rebuild. We had to start from scratch. It was a tough journey, but I went through it, and I’ve seen it all over there.”
That journey has helped Gordon appreciate the current journey he is on in Houston, and the unlimited green light to shoot the ball plays to his strengths.
“We’re just going to take what the defense gives,” Gordon explained. “If it’s [40 or 50] threes then we have to take them because most of them are going to be wide-open shots for us. We’re going to read what the defense gives us.”
Through 39 games, the Rockets have looked as good as almost anyone in the NBA, and have gone toe to toe with some of the best in the West.
“We measure up with the best of them,” Gordon said. “I mean, if you’re talking about a seven-game series, San Antonio and Golden State could give us a run, but we’re as good as any of them. We’re up there. I think we’re a championship caliber team; you could say four teams are, but the West is still pretty good, though.”
As things stand today, the Rockets hold the third seed in the Western Conference. They are just two and a half games behind the top seed Golden State Warriors and one game back from the second seed San Antonio Spurs.
The Rockets have become the second-most prolific offensive team in the league with 114.6 points per game, and Eric Gordon is a big reason why.
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