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Houston Rockets early season review: Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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Eric Gordon has found himself in quite the shooting slump to start the season. If he can shoot his way out of it and return to his former self, it may take the Houston Rockets to the next level.

Much like many of the Houston Rockets, Eric Gordon got off to a slow start to the season. But unlike many of the Rockets, he hasn’t been able to turn the corner yet.

Gordon’s early-season struggles have been frustrating for himself, the team, and the fans. But the season is still young, and there is plenty of indication that EG can turn things around.

Shooting Woes

Among players with five or more 3-point attempts per game, Gordon’s 26.2% 3-point percentage is second-worst in the league (worst is Trae Young at 24.1%.) He is not shooting much better from inside the arc either, as his field goal percentage is a mere 33.6%.

The Indiana product is still averaging 14.8 points per game, but he is taking 14.9 shots to get there. Any time you have a player taking more shots than scoring points, it’s a problem.

On one hand, it’s maddening to watch EG brick so many 3’s as he is taking over eight of them per game. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of pattern in how he missing them either, making it hard to diagnose any mechanical issues. Gordon is hitting every part of the rim possible, and sometimes not hitting it at all.

But on the other hand, Gordon is an established veteran in the league with a career 3-point percentage of 37.2%. He has also never shot below 35% from deep in any season that he has played more than 50 games. So while it is definitely painful to watch him go through this stretch, he has earned our patience and will most likely just shoot his way out of this slump.

And Gordon may have started to do just that on Saturday night against the Cavaliers, scoring a season-high 28 points on 8-16 shooting and drilling five 3’s. If he can continue his hot shooting going forward, it will be a huge plus to Houston’s bench.

Trade Rumors

One possible distraction for Gordon this season has been all of the talk about Houston possibly acquiring Jimmy Butler. While Butler has finally found a destination in Philly, Gordon’s name was thrown around quite a bit in possible trade scenarios.

At one point Minnesota was requiring that Gordon be a part of any possible deal for Butler, evidence that he still has plenty of value around the league.

But while nothing ended up transpiring, it’s hard to imagine that all of the trade talk didn’t have an impact on EG mentally.

Stats

Here are the game-by-game stats for Eric Gordon this year, highlighted by his best game of the season against Cleveland on Saturday:

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table

EG’s Importance

Houston’s bench production has been miserable this year, and Gordon definitely has a hand in that as one of the leaders of the second squad. It’s important that the former Sixth Man of the Year gets finds his rhythm soon for the Rockets for a number of reasons, if not just to take some of the scoring load off James Harden and Chris Paul’s shoulders.

Next. Chris Paul and Gerald Green questionable

With Gordon playing the way he is now, the Rockets can be a good team and will still probably their way into the playoffs come April. But to reach its full potential as a top team in the West with a possible run at the Finals, Gordon will need to step up his game.

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