Oct 28, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) drives to the basket between Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes (40) and center Andrew Bogut (6) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Rockets defeat the Mavericks 106-98. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
2016-17 Player Preview: Eric Gordon-Mr. Basketball
The “what if’s” in sports are almost as synonymous with the game, as the statistics themselves. Whether discussing different players in different eras or injuries that robbed players in their prime, it always comes back to the “what if”. Eric Gordon has been in the league nearly a decade and has yet to play a full season. Hopefully, when looking back at the 27 year old guard, we will not have to wonder “what if”.
Offensively, Gordon was born to play in this new Houston Rockets offense. A combo guard who can create off the dribble and now being asked to help run the offense. Only a year removed from his scorching 3pt percentage, that nearly led the league, Gordon’s biggest question has always been his health. Last season alone Gordon was only able to play 45 games. However, the Rockets are betting on the man and his talent, not his suspect injury history.
Oct 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) dribbles the ball as Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) defends during the third quarter at Toyota Center. The Rockets won 130-103. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Gordon looks to return to form
Points per game (ppg): 19
Rebounds per game (rpg): 5
Free throw % (ft): 75% -This stat will greatly help the Rockets abysmal ft shooting from last season
In Friday’s contest against the Mavs, Gordon played 33 minutes and ended with 18 points, while going 3-6 from beyond the arc, and grabbing all of his 4 (rebs) on the defensive end. The defensive boards were a nice surprise, as was the defensive improvement.
Oct 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) attempts to get control of the ball during the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Point guard by committee
With Patrick Beverly‘s return still weeks away, this has left the back-court rotation in a bit of disarray. The trio of Gordon, Ennis, and Brown will be asked to fill the defensive void and help run the high scoring offense. James Harden has handed out assists in record numbers, but the off the ball movement still needs work. This is where Gordon will excel.
Now upon Beverly’s return, Gordon will more than likely be moved to the bench and provide the offensive punch for the second unit. In the two games this season, we have seen flashes of the brilliance Gordon has shown while playing against us in the past.
For all the questions the new season brings, there are a few it has answered already. Eric Gordon can ball and this offense looks like it was tailor made for him. But, the lingering question-can he stay healthy?
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