Let’s not get it twisted. Despite how bad Eric Gordon has looked to start the season, and despite how many times he trolls me on Twitter by liking one of my critical tweets, this team absolutely needs Gordon to win the championship. He was their second best player in last season’s playoffs. And I’ve remarked in the past that Eric Gordon being ‘on’ is what transforms the Rockets’ offense from merely historically great to video game level.
He defends, has range out to three feet beyond the arc, and can put the ball on the deck – a combination of skills typically found in All-Star level players and why he is slated to earn $20 million a year after this season. Get well, soon.
There’s a silver lining. I think the Rockets should be able to navigate the regular season without Gordon on the strength of their two ironman A-listers. It’s the postseason when they’d really need Gordon. This gives more of a chance to Ben McLemore and Chris Clemons, two youngsters who I’ve latched onto in the Red94 annual tradition of overhyping any prospect under 30 with a pulse. Seriously, I think McLemore can be Daryl’s first successful lottery bust reclamation and the last rookie guard I can remember being able to heat it up as quickly as Clemons was Aaron Brooks. And Brooks was looking like he was on pace to have a fringe All-Star career before an ankle sprain sent him to China.
Other silver lining is that this obviates D’Antoni’s impulse to f*** around with that Harden/Westbrook/Gordon starting lineup that he so desperately wants to roll with for some reason. Because not starting House at this point is malpractice.
Grand master plan for today: Clemons goes nuts and proves himself to be a viable NBA player, averaging like 11 points per game off the bench on 43% shooting from ‘3’ with a couple of 20 point nights mixed in. Gordon comes back before the trade deadline. The Rockets then use Clemons as the sweetener in a trade to acquire the 6’9 defensive wing they’ve been missing. Oh wait, that can’t happen because they don’t have any salary filler to use in a trade because Tilman already made Morey dump all of it. Never mind.