Eric Gordon continues to prove that he’s an ideal fit with the Houston Rockets. The 27-year-old shooting guard finally finds where he really belongs and ready to help the Rockets contend for the title this season.
Gordon was part of the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers and him to the New Orleans Pelicans. He managed to impress in his first game as a Pelican before suffering multiple injuries that cost him three seasons. In the 2012 free agency, Gordon tried to move out of New Orleans as a restricted free agent by signing an offer sheet from the Phoenix Suns.
Unfortunately, the Pelicans matched the offer and brought him back to the team. His five-year stint with the Pelicans didn’t go well as he continued to be hit by injuries. In the 2016 free agency, Eric Gordon, as an unrestricted free agent, signed a four-year, $53 million deal with the Houston Rockets.
ERIC GORDON A CANDIDATE FOR SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Before joining the Rockets, Eric Gordon already knew he would come off the bench as James Harden’s backup. Early in the 2016-17 NBA season, he had already become a candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year. So far, Gordon averaged 17.4 points on 43.7 percent from the field and 43 percent from beyond the arc.
He’s undeniably a good fit in Mike D’Antoni’s aggressive, high-powered system. Gordon can beat defenders off the dribble, shoot with confidence from the three-point range and defend.
“I think he’s confident, he physically feels better,” D’Antoni told ESPN’s Calvin Watkins. “He lost some weight this summer, he really got himself in shape [and] he’s been injury-free, knock on wood, has been rededicated in the weight room and the training room and I think he feels that.
GORDON-HARDEN BACKCOURT DUO COULD WORK IN HOUSTON
According to Michael Lee of The Vertical, James Harden now played as the Rockets point guard, aiming to utilize the same scheme that made Steve Nash a two-time MVP to lead the league in assists.
“A lot of people probably wouldn’t think he’d be a point guard, but you never know in this league,” Gordon told The Vertical. “I think it’s worked out well for him to play point guard here because the system fits for him because he plays at a fast pace and that’s why I say it’s allowed me to play at a high level the same way.”
Gordon will benefit with Harden playing at the point to maximize his effectiveness in the perimeter. However, coach Mike D’Antoni noticed that their offense collapse when both players were off the court. So far, using Gordon as Harden’s backup proves to be one of the major reasons behind the Rockets success.
Gordon admitted that he wasn’t able to showcase his talent when he was in New Orleans. As of now, he’s starting to realize that he did the right thing of leaving the Pelicans to join the Rockets.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr.com
Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins