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Friday, September 20, 2019

Eric Gordon seemingly critical of Rockets coaches

The Houston Rockets can’t seem to break out of their funk in a season where they were one of the favorites in the Western Conference, and at least one player appears to be pointing the finger at the team’s coaching staff.

Following Thursday night’s 118-91 loss to the Utah Jazz, which was Houston’s sixth in its last eight games, veteran guard Eric Gordon shared some of his frustrations with Kelly Iko of The Athletic. One comment in particular probably won’t sit well with Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni.

“I’m just not having fun man. I’m just not. This sucks,” Gordon said. “Even the times where I have good games. We’re just not using some guys the right way. Are we gonna make the right sacrifices? Do we have the right attitude?”

It’s hard to interpret Gordon’s assertion that the team is “not using some guys the right way” as anything other than a criticism of the coaching staff. The Rockets certainly have the personnel to compete, but they have been unable to string wins together.

Iko offered a theory as to what may be bothering Gordon:

So who’s being misused? Could it be himself he was talking about? Gordon is certainly able to create his own offense, and against the Jazz he wasn’t afforded that many opportunities. Is it a coaching thing? Perhaps he’d like to see the offense open up a bit more, especially in half-court scenarios.

The Rockets always start games running dribble handoffs involving multiple players, maybe he’d want to see more of that going forward. Adding more wrinkles to an offense that’s capable of elite production might do some good. After all, doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different is the definition of insanity.

The Rockets rank 21st in the NBA with 108.5 points per game. They finished last season ranked 2nd in that category. Houston has had to play some of its starters extra minutes due to depth issues that D’Antoni recently expressed concern over, so perhaps that is part of what Gordon is referring to.

Whatever the case, the Rockets are a team that is losing more often than not in a season where expectations were sky high. That always creates frustration, and Gordon isn’t the only player in the locker room feeling that.



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