Houston Rockets v Brooklyn Nets Stud No. 2: Eric Gordon
Due to injuries, Eric Gordon was given the keys to the offense and reminded everyone why he once was the centerpiece in a trade for Chris Paul. Before getting ejected in the fourth quarter, Gordon scored 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting.
Gordon’s night wasn’t just an efficient shooting night, it was sheer dominance. He got to the rim at will, buried deep threes, and, without a shadow of a doubt, outdueled James Harden.
At the rim, Gordon went 6 of 7 and drew two shooting fouls, one of which was an and-one. All told, Gordon generated 15 points at the rim.
From behind the arc, he went 2 of 4, with three of his 3-point attempts coming off the dribble. Off the dribble threes are more difficult shots, but they force the defense to defend you well beyond the arc, which opens up space for everyone else.
Gordon, like a sculptor with clay, augmented the Nets' defense all night. Defenders flew out to him at the 3-point line and collapsed in when he drove. His offensive gravity is what allowed the Rockets to shred the 8th ranked defense in the league.
This one play showcased just how much control Gordon had of the Rockets’ offense and the Nets’ defense. Gordon catches the ball behind the arc, and by looking at the rim has a Brooklyn defender flying out of control. He then drives to the rim and draws the attention of three Nets. All the attention gives Christian Wood an easy cut and leads to an open alley-oop.
The masterclass performance from Gordon showcased just how good he can be when given a staring role.