Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon has been ruled out for tonight’s matchup against the Warriors. His injury woes still could still yield a benefit. Why?
They’re 4-3 on the season and they’re still off to a much better start than last season where it wasn’t until early December when the climbed over the .500 mark for good. Although it happens less often than not, I’d like to see a game where both James Harden and Russell Westbrook have outstanding games.
This needs to happen on a regular basis for this team is successful because it’s predicated on the dominant play by the guards. Forwards and centers are important but in Mike D’Antoni‘s system, the guard is the most critical position, responsible for the point creation as well as setting the tone with each possession up the hardwood.
A perfect example was their blockbuster finish against the Washington Wizards back Oct. 30 where Harden dropped 59 points while shooting an amazing 6-for-14 from behind-the-arc, one of his best marks thus far. Westbrook had yet another triple-double with a stat line of 17/12/10.
Harden had been struggling from the three and it’s imperative that he gets back to himself in that realm because the offense is so reliant on the prolific use of the three as a means to win basketball games.
I do think it’s going to take a little longer for the chemistry to vibe but I think they’ll find a rhythm well before the December holidays. Hell, many livelihoods are depending on this to work, including Daryl Morey, who swung for the fences yet again to try to improve this team with virtually zero salary cap space.
But anyway, Eric Gordon is suffering from left hamstring soreness and will be out tonight against the Golden State Warriors at Toyota Center. These aren’t your Daddy’s Warriors — or your son’s — as they have been injury-depleted to a point to where Stephen Curry will be out for a few months. D’Angelo Russell and Draymond Green will be out tonight as they’re facing their fair share of injuries.
Gordon has been struggling with his shooting through the first seven games averaging 10.3 points and shooting 27.8 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from the three-point line.
He has been coming off the bench as the sixth-man, a role that he embraced when he first came to the Houston Rockets but has failed to find a rhythm in doing so.
He has started the last two games, going 0-for-5 against the Miami Heat and 3-for-9 against the Memphis Grizzlies this past Monday.
The hamstring has likely had an effect on his ability to get set appropriately and provide his body the proper lift to line himself up with the basket effectively to make his shots. I think once he’s right, he’ll be just fine.
In addition, I think that Gordon’s injury is boon for the team because it’s early in the season. It’s
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better now that he takes the time to heal rather than when it’s critical that he be available when the playoffs roll around. This also gives Danuel House Jr. an opportunity to shine in his absence as he just inked a three-year, $11.1 million contract with the Houston Rockets this offseason as well.
Gordon just inked a four-year, $76 million contract extension back in early September, ensuring the 30-year-old, versatile, sparky-type guard is a part of the team at least until 2024. Gordon was on the last season of a four-year, $53 million contract he signed via free agency back in 2016.
He has been an incredible piece to the Houston Rockets‘ championship runs over the years and he’s a perfect fit for the offensive system that’s in place. He’s a terrific defender, a wonderful shooter and reliable cog to the team’s strategy when fully healthy.
I wouldn’t worry about this injury as a setback but more of a referendum of what’s yet to come in regard to his exponential rise once he gets going. I certainly like his strong chances of turning things around.
Good luck to you Eric — go Houston Rockets!