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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Articles tagged: Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon: Rockets would have beaten Warriors with healthy Chris Paul

How much did the Houston Rockets miss Chris Paul in the last two games of the Western Conference Finals? So much that even the player who took on a bigger role in his absence believe’s CP3’s injury was the difference in the series.

Following Houston’s loss in Game 7 on Monday, Eric Gordon boldly stated that the Rockets would be heading to the Finals if Paul didn’t suffer a hamstring injury.

“It sucks because you know you could win this series if we just had one more playmaker,” he said, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “If we had Chris, if he was out there, we’d have been playing on Thursday. It’s just tough.”

Gordon scored 23 points in Game 7, but he and his teammates shot historically bad from beyond the arc. Gordon connected on just 2-of-12 3-point attempts, and the Rockets were 7-of-44 as a team. There was one stretch where they went about 24 minutes of game time without hitting a single 3-pointer.

Houston took sizable leads into halftime of Game 6 and Game 7, but Mike D’Antoni noted how Paul’s leadership was missed in the second half of each of those games.

“That’s what C.P. was so good at in two [of the] games we won,” the Rockets coach said. “They’d make a little run, he’d hit a 3. They make another run, and he makes another play. And you have to have those momentum changers and stoppers, and the last two games, we didn’t have them.”

The Rockets had plenty of chances even without Paul, which is something their general manager alluded to on Monday night. Still, you have to think CP3 could have at least helped stave off some of those huge Golden State runs. As for whether or not he would have been the difference in the series, we will never know.

Eric Gordon could see bigger role if CP3 can’t play

The Houston Rockets’ big win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday was tempered somewhat by the late injury that star guard Chris Paul suffered, but it sounds like they already have a plan in place in case he misses time.

Paul was injured in the final 30 seconds of the Rockets’ 98-94 victory in Game 5 of their Western Conference Finals series when he appeared to hurt his right hamstring on a floater attempt and was unable to finish the game.

Speaking with reporters afterwards, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni did not sound particularly optimistic about Paul’s status and said that the nine-time All-Star was not in good spirits, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated.

D’Antoni also said that Rockets guard Eric Gordon would shift into the role of playmaker in the event that Paul missed time, per Marc J. Spears of ESPN.

Gordon, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, scored 24 points in the win on Thursday and is now up to 18.2 points a game for the series. He has come off the bench in every single game however, and the Rockets don’t usually use him as much of an initiator. Still, Gordon used to average four-plus assists a game for the LA Clippers back in the day, so he at least has it in his arsenal.

Top seven NBA Sixth Man of the Year candidates so far

Dwyane Wade

Andre Iguodala’s numbers are down across the board, Lou Williams will presumably be starting for the rest of the season with Patrick Beverley out of commission, and Jamal Crawford has probably run out of legacy votes. As such, we should be getting a lot of new blood in the race to win Sixth Man of the Year this season. Here are some challengers to float your banana boat.

*Stats courtesy of NBA.com and ESPN*

Willie Cauley-Stein, PF/C, Sacramento Kings

The Kings’ bench is incinerating opponents with a league-leading 49.1 points per game this season. The effort is being spearheaded by Cauley-Stein, who has been a whirling speed demon on both ends of the court. Trillie, as he is better known colloquially, offers double-double upside nearly every night and has the speed, length, and bounce to pester both backcourt and frontcourt players on defense as well. Now that Sacramento appears to have settled on starting Zach Randolph and Skal Labissiere down low, we should be in for many more months of Cauley-Stein raising the roof as first man off the bench.

Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Los Angeles Lakers


8 breakout players of the NBA Playoffs

John Wall

The NBA’s regular season can drag and lose the interest of the casual fan. When the lights turn up in the playoffs, some players shrink and others rise to the occasion. Responding in the postseason can change a player’s career. With free agency and a potentially wild offseason around the corner, players around the league are eager to earn extra money or solidify their spot on their team’s payroll.

This postseason, we’ve seen a crop of players stand out from the crowd, from big names growing bigger, to unknowns making the leap, to castoffs mounting a comeback. Each is a great story, only matched by their great play on the court.

Here’s a look at some of the breakout performers of the 2017 NBA playoffs.

1. John Wall, Washington Wizards

There’s no doubt that Wall was a star before these playoffs started, but he has absolutely elevated his game this postseason and raised his profile league-wide.

In 13 playoff games, Wall averaged 27.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. On both ends of the floor, he changed the game for Washington and dictated everything for the Wizards. He assisted on 45.7 percent of his teammates’ field goals while on the floor, good for 10.3 dimes per game, while only turning the ball over on 14.6 percent and shooting 45 percent from the field. The only ever player to post those numbers in at least 13 playoff games was Magic Johnson in 1987. Any time a point guard can be mentioned in a group with only Magic, that is rarefied air.

Now Wall will enter next season not as a semi-star like he has in years past, but as a contender for the title of the league’s best two-way, pure point guard. While James Harden and Russell Westbrook have the ball in their hand nearly the entire game, but don’t contribute much on defense, Wall could supplant the aging Chris Paul as the best passing and scoring floor general in the league.

In an Eastern Conference devoid of real threats to LeBron James’ crown, Wall’s rise to superstardom could be the beginning of something building in our nation’s capital.

2. Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz (more…)

Eric Gordon lands with Rockets on four-year deal


New Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni is slowly getting his dream roster.

According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Saturday, free agent shooting guard Eric Gordon has agreed to a four-year, $53 million deal with Houston.

Gordon, 27, averaged 15.2 points per game, 2.2 rebounds per game, and 2.7 assists per game for the Pelicans last season, but was limited to just 45 appearances thanks to a twice-fractured finger on his shooting hand.

The former Indiana Hoosier had long been considered unlikely to return to New Orleans, and now he joins forces once again with Pelicans teammate Ryan Anderson, who agreed to his own four-year deal with the Rockets earlier in the day on Saturday.

Gordon is a career 38.3 percent shooter from downtown who can play in tempo, making him a sublime fit for a D’Antoni offense. But he comes attached with the stigma of a very nefarious injury history, which is probably why the Rockets were able to get him at such a cheap price relative to what the rest of the shooting guard market has been commanding this summer.

A natural two-guard, Gordon likely won’t be able to run with the Houston starters at that position thanks to the presence of James Harden. But as Gordon has aged and lost some of his spring due to injury, he has developed into more of a spot-up shooter who you can slot at either wing spot (Gordon played roughly 27 percent of his minutes last season at the small forward position, the highest of his eight-year career per Basketball Reference). Health permitting, Gordon should be able to provide the Rockets with some nice floor spacing and lineup versatility moving forward into next season.

Report: Eric Gordon ‘unlikely’ to stay with Pelicans after season


New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon is set to hit free agency at season’s end, and he’ll almost certainly be hunting for a new team.

Gordon arrived with much fanfare in the non-vetoed Chris Paul trade in 2011, but has had an inconsistent, injury-plagued tenure with New Orleans. He further alienated the team and fans by asking that they allow him to go to Phoenix when the Suns gave him an offer sheet in 2012. With all that in mind, Gordon is probably not coming back to New Orleans after the season, according to John Reid of NOLA.com.

Reid considers it “unlikely” that the Pelicans will try to retain Gordon, and noted that the team shopped him before the trade deadline in February. As for his future, his hometown Pacers are suggested as a possibility if they want to make a run at him.

This isn’t exactly breaking news. Gordon’s time in New Orleans will likely go down as a disappointment. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy and even when he has, he hasn’t developed into what New Orleans hoped he would when they got him for Chris Paul. In fact, he’s back on the shelf right now. Expect him to land somewhere in a lesser role.

Eric Gordon re-fractures right ring finger


New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon might actually have the worst injury luck in the National Basketball Association.

According to a report by Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com, Gordon suffered a fractured right ring finger in Saturday’s loss to the Utah Jazz, the same finger he broke in January which caused him to miss 16 games.

The injury is said to have occurred in the second quarter of the 106-94 defeat.

Gordon, 27, had just returned from that initial fracture on February 27, but was performing well, entering play on Saturday with averages of 22.7 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game over that span.

With just 21 games remaining on the regular schedule season for the 23-38 Pelicans, Gordon’s season could very likely be over. Head coach Alvin Gentry recently admitted that the team is all but out of playoff contention, and Gordon’s continued inability to stay healthy is another sombering reminder of that reality.

Image Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

H/T CBS Sports