The five Houston Rockets included on SI’s top 100 players of 2019-20

By Lachard Binkley
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

No. 63: Eric Gordon (49 last year)

Outside of Houston, everyone tends to think of Eric Gordon as just a good 3-point shooter, but if you study his game, you know he is much more than that. Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has given endless praise to the 31-year-old Gordon, especially regarding his defense, as documented by the Houston Chronicle this past April:

“Well, Eric is one of the better defenders in the league, without a doubt. Nobody ever talks about it, because he’s pretty understated, but he’s so strong. Nobody can post him up. He puts his chest on people and keeps them out of the lane. He’s just really good at what he does.”

Gordon showed off some of his effective defense in last year’s playoffs, as well, when he held rising Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell to 24-90 (26.7 percent) shooting while he was on the floor. In comparison, when Eric was off the court, Mitchell shot 12-22 (54.5 percent.) The Rockets went on to win the series 4-1 and much of that can be attributed to the strong defense of Splash Gordon.

Related Story. Gordon wants to be one of league’s best 3-point shooters

With Chris Paul ailing most of the year, Gordon was the Rocket’s second-best scorer and many times was asked to guard the best perimeter player on the other team. With his deadeye shooting and underrated defense, Gordon has become a legit two-way player for the Houston Rockets.

When it comes to the top 100 players in the league, Eric Gordon is listed a bit too low as well.

Next: Clint Capela