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When Eric Gordon regains his rhythm, watch out for the Rockets

Photo by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images
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When Eric Gordon regains his rhythm, the Houston Rockets will be a hard team to stop.

Eric Gordon exceeded all expectations last year.

The 28-year-old averaged 16.2 points per game and made the fourth most 3s in the NBA in the 2016-17 season. Gordon helped James Harden lead the Rockets to 55 wins, and that was enough to earn him the Sixth Man of the Year Award. When Chris Paul was forced to sit out following the season opener, Gordon had to step up in a big way, and he delivered.

Through his first 13 games of the year, Gordon averaged 22.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 4.0 made 3’s per game. Gordon’s biggest game of the season was on a chilly night in Philadelphia on Oct. 25. Houston was down 104-102, and Gordon got the ball in the corner from a desperation pass from Harden. EG gave a pump-fake to Joel Embiid, side-stepped to dodge him, and then pulled up for a game-winning 3-pointer. Gordon scored at least 20 points in 11 of his first 13 games.

The Rockets are currently on a six game winning streak, and they haven’t lost since their matchup with Toronto on Nov. 14. Eric Gordon scored just 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting against the Raptors. That game broke a streak of five consecutive 20-point games for Gordon, and he hasn’t scored 20 points in a game since.

Over the last 6 games, Gordon is averaging just 11.2 points on 31.4 percent from the field and an ugly 17.8 percent from downtown. He’s also getting to the line just 3.2 times a game, which is lower than his 5.6 average from the previous 13 games.

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Gordon has struggled in every game since Chris Paul has returned, but the important thing is that the Rockets are 6-0 in that time. Gordon had gotten accustomed to starting, and the move to the bench in addition to becoming a secondary ball handler at all times has seemed to throw Gordon’s rhythm off.

In order for the Rockets to succeed long-term, they need Eric Gordon to produce at a high-level. He’s really a third option in Houston’s offense, and he’s the only player outside of Harden and Paul that can break down a defense or go for 25 points on a given night.

Every player in the NBA goes through hot and cold streaks at some point in their career, and Gordon is currently going through a rough patch. But it hasn’t stopped Houston from decimating their opponents by double-digits night after night.

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Houston’s next game is against the Los Angles Lakers on Sunday evening. Gordon averaged 18.3 points on 50.0 percent shooting last year against the guys dressed in purple and gold. Expect Gordon to bounce back with a big game in Los Angeles. If Eric Gordon gets back on track and Houston stays healthy, the rest of the NBA should watch out for the Rockets.

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