Houston Rockets: 2 takeaways from the team’s loss to the Spurs

By Tevin Williams
Houston Rockets (Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets (Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon – Houston Rockets (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images) /

Eric Gordon and Danuel House looked comfortable in their roles

Mike D’Antoni made the decision to start Danuel House and move Eric Gordon back to his old role as the team’s sixth man. Of course, Gordon won the Sixth Man of the Year Award in the 2016-17 season and finished runner-up for the award in the 2017-18 season. Bringing Gordon off the bench makes sense for a multitude of reasons.

For starters, replacing Gordon with House makes Houston’s starting unit taller and longer, which would be a great help to a team that finished just 28th in rebounds per game last season.

Second, Mike D’Antoni previously said that he wants to keep two of James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon on the floor at all times. This would be easier to accomplish if Gordon is coming off the bench, since he can check in to replace Westbrook at around the six or seven minute mark in the first and third quarters before Westbrook checks back in to replace Harden at the two or three minute mark.

The third reason is that Gordon gives Houston’s bench, which ranked dead last in bench points last season, a very big scoring punch. Gordon had 14 points on 4-for-8 shooting from 3-point range against San Antonio in just under 23 minutes. EG, along with Harden, were the two players who kept Houston within striking distance for most of the game.

It’ll be interesting to see what D’Antoni decides to do, but he should definitely try starting Danuel House in the regular season. Eric Gordon will play around the same amount of minutes and will likely finish games either way, so there’s a good amount of upside without much downside with the decision to bring EG off the bench.

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