The Houston Rockets just suffered another major setback.
After a convincing 122-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night — the Rockets’ fourth straight victory — Houston has suffered a major setback at the beginning of the 2019-20 season. That would be due to the fact that Eric Gordon, one of the team’s top scorers, will be sidelined for at least one month due to knee surgery, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Head Mike D’Antoni went into further detail regarding Gordon’s injury and timetable for a return, stating that the guard will be sidelined four-to-six weeks due to the knee procedure.
The 30-year-old guard scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc in the Rockets’ victory over the Pelicans on Monday night. Gordon, who had served as a starter over the past couple of seasons, had shifted back to his sixth man role for the 2019-20 season.
The veteran guard was off to a rough start thus far, averaging just 10.9 points per game on 30.9 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from beyond the arc.
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Rockets Will Now Rely Heavily on Chris Clemons
With Gordon now sidelined, the Rockets are severely short-handed at the guard positions behind James Harden and Russell Westbrook. D’Antoni went on record as stating that Chris Clemons will fill in and help with the point guard duties when Westbrook is not there, via Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic.
The 22-year-old Clemons is an undrafted free agent currently in his first season with the Rockets. He’s averaging 4.8 points in 7.8 minutes per game this season.
“Chris Clemons will fill in and help point guard duties when Russ is not there. Ben (McLemore) will step up and play and Austin (Rivers).”
Daryl Morey Downplays Eric Gordon’s Injury
General manager Daryl Morey said it bluntly — the team just has to learn how to offset Gordon’s injury by winning games without him, via Mark Berman of Fox 26.
“He’s a big factor. Every team’s dealing with injuries. We’re gonna have to fight through it.” (Blessing in disguise it’s early in the season?) “Obviously that minimizes the impact. Our goals are big. We need him in April the most”
Gordon has been with the Rockets since the 2016-17 season and won the Sixth Man of the Year award at the conclusion of the 2016-17 campaign.
James Harden Sets New NBA Record
In more positive news, Harden has established a new record. The veteran guard has averaged 37.3 points per game over the first 10 games of the 2019-20 season — the highest scoring average through the first 10 games of a season in the past 50 years.
The mark breaks Michael Jordan’s previous record of 36.9 points per game set during the 1988-89 season.
Despite the record, the 30-year-old guard downplayed the achievement — instead focusing on the team’s most recent victory.
“I don’t really keep up with my scoring or not,” Harden said. “I just know in the fourth quarter, it’s time to be aggressive or find certain things I can be aggressive at that can help my teammates get shots off and score as well.”
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