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Will Eric Gordon repeat as 3-point Contest champion?

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 18: Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets competes in the 2017 JBL Three-Point Contest at Smoothie King Center on February 18, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 18: Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets competes in the 2017 JBL Three-Point Contest at Smoothie King Center on February 18, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Rockets have 3 participants at All-Star Weekend, including one looking to defend a title from last year.

Eric Gordon shocked the world (but not Rockets’ fans) last year when he won the 3-point Contest at All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. He edged out sharpshooter Kyrie Irving to take home the title.

This year, he has been given an opportunity to defend his title. Will he be able to do that or will his struggles from deep this year bleed over into the All-Star festivities?

Let’s look at reasons why he will and why he won’t win the 3-point Contest on Saturday:

Why he will win it

Coming into Saturday night, Eric Gordon has the second-best odds of any participant to win the contest. Here are the full odds courtesy of Ira Winderman and SportsBettingDime:

And the 3-point contest odds from SportsBettingDime:
Klay Thompson: 7/3
Eric Gordon: 4/1
Devin Booker: 6/1
Bradley Beal: 7/1
Paul George: 10/1
Kyle Lowry: 14/1
Wayne Ellington: 15/1
Tobias Harris: 50/1

— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) February 13, 2018

So let’s look at why he will win it this year. According to NBA.com, Eric Gordon shoots 41.8% this season from 3 on wide open shots (shots where defenders are more than 6 feet away).

This percentage is far better than his season average of 33.4% and should be taken into account. In fact, he is even shooting better on wide open shots this season than he did last year, the season he won the contest. Last year, he shot 38.8% on shots where defenders were more than 6 feet away.

Couple that with the experience he got from the participating and winning last year, and there’s a decent chance for EG to repeat.

Why Eric Gordon may not repeat

The 3-point Contest is a very random event. Everything must fall your way if you want to win it, and that’s what happened for EG last season.

Eric Gordon was also having a much better season shooting-wise going into the break last year. He was fourth in the league in 3-pointers made and was hitting them at a 38.5% clip. He was just a better overall shooter from deep in 2017.

The competition is also pretty great in this 3-point Contest. Eric Gordon easily has the lowest percentage of the contestants, even Wayne Ellington (no disrespect to Wayne). The next lowest mark is Bradley Beal at 37%, this nearly 4% higher than Gordon.

What do you think? Will Houston see Eric Gordon win back-to-back 3-point Contest titles? Find out on Saturday night!

https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/964592567344971777

*All stats via Basketball-Reference and NBA.com*

Next: 3 predictions for All-Star Weekend

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