The Return of Eric Gordon

Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

By Ryan Rocklin,

When Eric Gordon was drafted 7th by the Clippers in 2008, fans had high hopes for Gordon. Many believing he would develop into a star in the NBA. There was no doubt the former Hoosier could score as he quickly became one of the best scorers and three point shooters in the NBA.

There was one problem though, he couldn’t stay healthy. Gordon always seemed to be sidelined with an injury which interrupted his progress to become a perennial all-star. Every season he would begin great scoring in bunches, then all of a sudden he would get injured and have to start from square one.

After another injury-riddled season, Gordon signed with the Houston Rockets. This move looked to be great if Gordon could stay healthy, and so far this season he has been off the sidelines and on the court, helping the Rockets become a contender in the Western Conference. Gordon is currently averaging 18 points per game, he’s second in three pointers made behind Steph Curry, and he’s the clear-cut choice for sixth man of the year.

The Rockets are the third seed in the West and look destined to make a deep playoff run. Their fast paced offense is designed for three point marksmen and Gordon fits like a glove. His ability to make plays with the ball in his hands and to make plays playing off the ball allow him to be a dual-threat on offense and a very tough matchup for the opposition. Harden and Gordon have been playing terrific along side each other this season and it’s easy to see when looking at their stats and the team’s success.

Gordon’s also having a fantastic year because James Harden demands so much attention on the offensive end. Defenses focus on stopping Harden, which leaves other players open, such as Eric Gordon. Harden loves creating open shots for his teammates and Gordon has been thriving off that ability of his all season long.

When Harden is out of the game, Gordon runs the offense and he does a great job of exploiting mismatches and getting the hot hand the ball. Gordon’s effective field goal percentage is the highest he has ever posted at 56%. His three point attempts per game are up to 9 and his two point attempts are down to 5. This stat is important because the NBA today relies on three point shooting and Gordon has used his stupendous ability to shoot three pointers to his advantage.

When Gordon entered the NBA, he was not known for his defense, but this year his defense has improved dramatically. He knew when he signed with the Rockets in the summer that him and Harden would be paired up in the backcourt. This meant Gordon had to become a better defensive player because Harden isn’t known for his defense and Coach D’Antoni didn’t want their offensive superstar in James Harden to be fatigued from guarding the best guard on the opposition’s team. Gordon has stepped up to the plate this season utilizing his quickness and physicality to become much better on defense.

In my opinion, Eric Gordon should be an all-star this season. His numbers have been superb, efficient, and have led to the Rockets success this season. Houston is the third seed in the Western Conference with a 31-11 record. Before the season began, nobody expected the Rockets to be a top team in the West. Many people didn’t expect them to even advance to the postseason this year. But because of players like Eric Gordon stepping up, Houston has a chance to go far in the playoffs. I understand that the West is filled with terrific guards, but Gordon is very deserving of a spot on the all-star team. His numbers and team’s success back it up.

This season has been Eric Gordon’s return to the scoring machine he once was. Hopefully he can put the injuries behind him and focus on continuing on a terrific season. As the season goes on, I expect Gordon to do even better as he continues to get comfortable with his new team. All in all, Eric Gordon is back!

 

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