Mike D’Antoni says Eric Gordon puts Rockets over the top

Houston Rockets Eric Gordon (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Eric Gordon (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

On Sunday night, Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni stressed the importance of Eric Gordon by stating how he can put the Rockets over the top.

The Houston Rockets fanbase didn’t know exactly what to expect when the Rockets signed Eric Gordon in 2016, and understandably so. Gordon had proven to be a good player when healthy, but his health issues were impossible to ignore.

EG had missed a total of 173 games in the previous five seasons in which he was a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, which led many to wonder whether he would be able to overcome his injuries in Houston. But Gordon made an immediate impact in the Space City, as he won the Sixth Man of the Year in his first season with the Rockets.

Gordon averaged at least 16 points per game in each of his first three seasons with the Rockets and was the team’s second-leading scorer during the 2018-19 playoffs behind only James Harden. But EG has battled health issues this season, which have been quite noticeable.

Gordon averaged 14.5 points per game this season while shooting 31.9 percent from deep and 37 percent from the field, which are all lows for his Rockets tenure. But even an unhealthy Gordon has shown the ability to gash opponents, and the Utah Jazz got a firsthand glimpse of his dominance.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says Eric Gordon puts the Rockets over the top.

Gordon’s 50-piece led the Rockets to a road victory over the Jazz despite James Harden and Russell Westbrook being out of action earlier this season. This has left Rockets fans wishing Gordon could return to full health in time for the postseason, which is an example of how the NBA’s hiatus has been a blessing in disguise.

On Sunday, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni spoke about Gordon’s impact while speaking on KHOU’s Sports Extra.

“I think Eric is in a better place now than he was two months ago coming off the injury. I think Eric Gordon is a big key for us. He has the potential to put us over the top.”

Gordon recently spoke about being fully healthy now, thanks to the two and a half months of inactivity. This is a major boost for the Rockets, and especially if the Rockets face the Utah Jazz in the first round, which could be the case if the playoff format is switched to the best 16 teams by record.

Gordon has been one of the best 3-point shooters in the league since coming to the Rockets, as he finished 4th in 3-pointers made in 2016-17, 8th in 3-pointers made in 2017-18, and 11th in 2018-19.

Next. Bullard says Calvin Murphy wouldn't be a good roommate

All things considered, D’Antoni is right; Gordon does have the potential to put the Houston Rockets over the top.