Houston Rockets: 4 players to watch vs. the Atlanta Hawks

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Eric Gordon (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

3. Eric Gordon

Rockets guard Eric Gordon has had an up-and-down year, ranging from landing a contract extension to missing 22 consecutive games due to knee surgery. Gordon has played in each of the last three games, and has seen an uptick in minutes during each game. Since Gordon’s return, he’s averaged 14.7 points per game and made 40.9 percent of his 3-point attempts as well, which has been an encouraging sign.

During Wednesday’s game, Gordon could very well receive the most playing time since his return, as the Houston Rockets have made a strategic move regarding Russell Westbrook‘s load management schedule. Throughout the season, the Rockets have consistently decided to rest Westbrook on the second night of each sequence of back-to-back games, but they’ve decided to rest him on the first night in this case. The Rockets did this to allow The Brodie to play against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which would be his first game back in Oklahoma City since he joined the Houston Rockets.

This could possibly result in Eric Gordon getting the start against a 8-29 Hawks team who rank 15th in the Eastern Conference. The thought of this has to have Gordon licking his chops considering his play of late in addition to the fact that he’s averaged 17.5 points per game over the course of his last four games against Atlanta. Not only that, EG has been shooting 44 percent from downtown during that span, which should continue on Wednesday night.

Next: No. 2