Is Eric Gordon ready to take that next step?
Gordon's Time is Now
As the Clippers spoke with members of the press for Media Day, a broad range of topics were discussed. Yet the one name that kept popping up was Eric Gordon’s.
Gordon returned to the Clippers as a gold medalist and a major contributor for the USA Basketball National Team that went undefeated in this summer’s FIBA World Championships in Turkey. Although USA’s Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski decided to bring the Clipper guard off the bench, Gordon ended the summer games as the fourth leading scorer on the team. While the world was watching, Gordon wanted to make sure that he shined.
“It was a good confidence booster for me,” Gordon said. “To show them where I am at.”
Besides bringing back a gold medal from Turkey, Gordon also brought back a greater understanding of what it takes to win and how he can progress into that leadership role for this young Clippers team.
“I learned how to win [a championship], so hopefully I can bring that back here,” Gordon said. “I need to take advantage of [the FIBA games] and bring that experience here.”
In Gordon’s first two seasons, the Clippers roster was loaded with savvy veterans and outspoken players. However, the roster has transitioned into one of the youngest teams in the NBA for the upcoming season. With 2009 first overall pick Blake Griffin making his debut this season, and a highly touted 2010 draft class of Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe, and Willie Warren, the Clippers are as young and talented as ever. With that being said, Gordon can see how his mentorship to the young ones will only benefit the team. The sharpshooter is clearly ready to take on more responsibility and become a more open leader.
“I’m going into my third year now so I’d like to step it up even more,” said Gordon. “I’m still young, but I need to be more vocal. That’s the best thing to do for me now.”
Gordon also pointed out that although he has led by example in the past, he is in a position now where he can do even more.
“Playing by example; that’s how leadership starts. But at this point I can say I can be more vocal now. I’m done being a quiet guy and I’m going to bring some more leadership to this team. It’s time for a change and get into a winning mentality.”
All-Star Center Chris Kaman sang the same tune. During their time together, Kaman has had the opportunity to watch Gordon grow into a complete player on both ends of the court.
“Obviously, we know he can score. But it’s the intangibles that we don’t talk about, and his defense is a big key to [his success]”said Kaman. “Now he’s going to step up. It’s time for him to show everybody what he can do.”
Gordon received a lot of praise from Clipper’s Vice President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey. Not only does Olshey find Gordon’s unselfish character a model of what he wants the Clippers culture to be about, but he called Gordon, “The best perimeter defender since he walked in here.”
“Eric’s one of the best young players in this league. I’ll put him up against anybody in his draft class and I’ll put him up against anybody in the first three years of their deal,” Olshey said. “He has a quiet demeanor. He is a kid from Indiana who goes out and does his job and plays basketball. But I think his level of awareness around the league has been raised.”
The Clippers would always welcome an outspoken Eric Gordon this season. However, his teammates know that actions speak louder than words.
“He doesn’t have to speak,” said Clipper’s point guard Baron Davis. “His game speaks volumes. He had an opportunity to play with some of the best players in the NBA, to win a gold medal. He can score with the best of them in this league.”
The theme of the day was loud and clear. Eric Gordon’s time has arrived. The experience in the FIBA World Championship should be one that further enhances his abilities on and off the court. The championship culture and the motivation he brings over from Turkey should translate into other players following his lead. Now, as he looks to further develop his leadership role with this up and coming Clipper team, his teammates are prepared to witness an all-star season from the 21 year-old.
The only difference this year is that the rest of the world is prepared as well.
I definitely see him taking a big step foward this year and helping the Clips make the playoffs, a popular playoff pick last year, I this year being the time they take the jump....Gordon played so well towards the end of the FIBA he looked like the best young guard on the team along with Westbrook....I could see him making the All Star team this year and putting up close to 20ppg
But i don't think Gordon will be much more than a really good scorer,solid defender and passer and a guy you want as an Ideal 6th man...he's a combo guard and he needs to be able to get at least 15 to 20 shots to really show off his complete offensive game...With Davis( A shoot first PG ) Kaman( A offensive Center ) and Griffin ( a low post option who needs to be force feed the ball to produce ) It'll be hard for Gordon to take over as the main option without hurting is overall numbers...I'll always love his game but he's under sizeed for the starting SG spot on a real Team...for the Clippers It'll work ...he'll look good and the Team won't win...They need a real SG or Sf like Barnes or ( insert best Sg in the 2011 draft class here ) and allow Gordon to be the perfect 6th man...
"...he's a combo guard and he needs to be able to get at least 15 to 20 shots to really show off his complete offensive game"
Are you talking about Eric Gordon or Ben Gordon? Because Eric Gordon doesn't need 15-20 shots. That's one of the best aspects about his game.
If he ever wants to get 20 a game for an entire season he'll ahve to get at least 15 shots per game...If he hits half his shots he'll still only average 15 to 18 points...20 plus means more shots...which means Baron has to take less shots to get EG his 15 to 20 per game...on top of that they have a good front court duo in Kaman and Grifin, they def. need to get more than 10 shots per game to be happy and for Griffin to produce at a high level he'll need to be feed the ball alot...He and Gordon would be my 2nd and 3rd option...Baron and Kaman can be 4th and 5th...They need to get a Barnes or Jones Sf and let Aminu be the glue guy and defensive stopper/highlight reel dunker on the bench...In a dream scenario They try to get another top 10 pick and go for a Big SG...thna let EG become the 6th man like I said...A Team Of
Davis at the Pg-Top 10 Sg through some sort of trade-Barnes from winning the lottery-Griifin at Pf-Kaman at C with Gordon,Aminu, Jordan, Bledsoe and Warren on the bench
Eric Gordan can probably still average close to 20 on 10 shots because he shoots and makes 3's and also gets to the line. I still see him as a undersized 2 but I think he could be one of the better ones if he can continue to add balance to his game. I still think he and Kaman could be replace if they were to be traded for Melo but I doubt that happens.
he'd have to hit 70% of his shots and all his 3's all year to do that...an dget to the line without the shots going against his FG percentages
Eric Gordon doesn't need to be a high volume shooter to be effective, but he SHOULD get at least 15 shots per game this season. At this stage of Baron Davis' career, there's no way he should be shooting more than Gordon. He really needs to elliminate the three-pointers out of his game and focus on penetrating and distributing. And there's no way Rasual Butler should be getting 11 shots per game.
Chris Kaman, Davis and Butler will all see their field goal attempts go down next season with Blake Griffin entering the starting lineup and Gordon taking on more of an offensive role.
Gordon averaged 16.9 points on 12.6 shots last season. He could average 20+ points on 15 shots considering he's a 38% three-pointer shooter and is usually a mid 80's shooter from the line. With the way he drives to the basket, he could get to the line 5-7 times per game.
Scarecrow have you watched Gordon at all? He was third,almost fourth in shot attempts last year on The Clippers and ended up being the second leading scorer on the team.This while dealing with nagging injuries all year long...what Gordon lacks in size he makes up for in strength and quickness!He can guard the other teams poing guard and once he learns how to use his strength he will be able to guard more 3's....Hell Coach K had him guarding 3's in FIBA this summer
The most telling part of this article was when he said he was done being quiet! He was the youngest player on Team USA this summer and he's still growing as a person and a player....Dont sleep on Gordon!
but does that make the Clippers any better than they were last year...they need a lot of help in LA...They need a Real SG that stands at at least 6'5 to 6'6...They also need a scoring SF in the mold of Harrison Barnes...they could also use the pg of the future to break out in a year or two...If They get a great pick this year and go after a Sf or Sg thyan Gordon becomes the 6th man and they wait another year for a PG,..Davis is getting to old to be really good a year from now...
Gordon is less than an inch shorter than 6' 4", but he has the length, reach and strength of a two guard. He's both longer and stronger than Evan Turner.
I think he's a legit starting shooting guard. He's had no problems defensively thus far. He's held his own against the Kobe's, Iguodala's, Stephen Jackson's and Joe Johnson's of the league. He plays both ends of the floor, so I don't understand why you think he's an ideal 6th man. He's not Ben Gordon, Jason Terry or JR Smith.
Is he Kobe, Manu, Rip Hamilton or any thing close to an all star Sg that can be a big piece and offensive weapon on a contender..."I repeat , I am a huge Gordon guy but he's a 6th man in a perfect world...he can get 20 plus points per game but will it equal wins in LA...They can still draft a top flight Sg this year and be better for it...If Eric Gordon is your starting 2 guard your bound for the Lottery and may be there until you make him your 6th man and get a taller 2 Guard...Gordon would work with an elite PG like Westbrook or Rose creating for him but Davis is not that type of player any more.."
And I do think Gordon getting more shots makes the Clippers a better team. I don't have the statistics, but based on what I watched last season, they were a better team and had a better chance to win when he had big games.
Scarecrow you should of watched him guard guys like Wade and Roy last year...he turned them into volume shooters.Sure they got there points,but they needed more shots than usual to get there! Gordon isnt a sixth man at all,thats just misusing him!
Gordon isnt the problem with The Clippers being a bad team at all...They have selfish veterans on the team and had an obscene amount of players in there contract years on the team last year,who were just looking to playing for there next contract
He is very underrated and efficient considering how limited his touches are. Agreed, Tezo, there is no way Butler and Davis should get more shots then him because of how much more complete a player Gordon is. I still think it is a good idea to feed the post first, but Gordon should definately be the first option on the perimeter. BTW he is also by far the best defender on the team and has the strength, athleticism and intensity to match up with a good portion of the league's shooting guards.
No...He's not Kobe...Not Joe Johnson...Not B.Roy...Not Manu...Iggy..Capt Jack or D Wade...he's not better than Turner at any thing except the long ball...To bring the Turner/Gordon break down into this debate is stupid...There is a reason scouts rated Turner the best 2 Guard prospect of the decade...why wasn't Gordon or Mayo rated that highly...Gordon is a combo guard with elite range...he's strong because he's 6'3 maybe 6'4 and he weighs over 220 pounds...his D is a little overrated and he'd be best as a 6th man...he's not Terry, JR or Ben Gordon ( those guys have proven way more than Gordon and actually been to the playoffs ) Ben was the leading scorer on a playoff team...Terry has won a 6th man title and JR has the talent to be one of the best SG in the NBA...Gordon is awesome as a shooter and instant offense guy...I will bet you my life that he's not a championship caliber starting SG in the NBA.,..he is however a legit 6th man on any contender in the League...
You keep on saying that the Clippers need a bigger two guard. The reason I brought up Evan Turner is because although he's 6' 7", Gordon is longer than him... Not to mention stronger. My point wasn't to say that Gordon was better than Turner. My point was to say that Gordon isn't tall, but has two guard length, reach and strength... And he's had no problems defending.
Turner hasn't even played an NBA game yet. He may have been rated as the best two guard prospect of the decade, but it took him three years to become so. He comes from the same class as Gordon, yet Gordon was NBA ready after his freshman season.
You have to be patient. Gordon is only 21 years old and entering his third season lol.
Scarecrow, Evan Turner has not played in a single NBA game yet and you are already saying he is better than Gordon in every aspect? Not even close. Gordon is better than JR, Terry and Ben Gordon. Neither of these guys can play defense. Ben Gordon was the leading scorer on a team with a losing record knocked out in the first round of the playoffs,in the weak east for that matter. So what if JR Smith has been to the playoffs? With Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Nene (three all-stars last year) you are bound to go far. Terry is the definition of an instant offense one dimensional player who is a shooting guard stuck in a point guards body. So what if these guys have been to the playoffs?
is stupid...sure Gordon is better than the Ben Gordon and JR Richardson's of the world but is he a championship SG...wouldn't he be a defensive liability in a 7 game series against the Lakers or Blazers or Rockets or Spurs...who would guard Kobe,Roy,Martin and Manu...he's not big enough to guard any of them...Now sure he is a great scorer and very solid as a starter but he's not the ideal SG for a team that wants to win...He's a floor spreading shooter and needs to be a role player not lead dog...I loved Gordon at IU...I still love Gordon's game but I'm a realist...he's undersized and what he makes up for in weight he'll never be able to get back with the height issues...Mayo is as good if not better than Gordon at every aspect yet is still considered too small to be an elite SG...Gordon will get looks at PG when Davis finally moves on in 2 to 3 years...
I really expect a blowout year from Eric... He's that kind of kid that has been "underappreciated" by most fans because he is playing for a cursed Clippers team but the kid knows how to ball... The world payed attention to him this time at the World Championships... He will definitely benefit the experience he had there... The kid is willing to go all out, man... His defense is fantastic... His shooting not to mention his shot selection which is byfar what impresses me... He doesn't forces shots like Ben Gordon... He has a calm sense on the court... The Clippers have a franchise talent like Blake Griffin but their offense would be stagnant if there is no Eric Gordon...
I can see now this is a what have you done for me lately Thread and I'll throw in a few more points...
Gordon has never averaged over 20 Points per game...Big Ben has done it and Terry is a 6th man award winner...JR Smith would average over 20 if he was on a bad team with no real other weapons...
Turner is better than Gordon if you wanna get into it...Turner was better in College and can be in the NBA...if he even gets half the jumper a guy like Gordon has now he'll be an all star 2G...he can do it all from score to pass, defend and rebound...and he's a legit 6'7 and has a feel for the game like a savvy veteran...I'm a huge Gordon guy but their is no doubt Turner is the better prospect...No FIBA gold medal changes that...In Fact Gordon was only on the team to shoot against soft euro zones and with the watered down world wide competion I'm pretty sure anyone with half a Jumper would have won gold...Reddick could have easily replaced Gordon on that Team and It wouldn't have made a difference....
Why is he not the ideal sg for team that wants to win? He certaintly is more well-rounded tha Kevin Martin. He played Roy very well last year and why is he not big enough to guard Manu? the only sg I see him having legit trouble guarding is Kobe but who doesn't have trouble with Kobe? You're acting as if all these players would just flat out drop forty on him.... Your are putting wayyyyy too much stock in to his lack of height and overlooking the fact that he is strong, athletic and actually willing to play defense.
Redick could have easily replaced Gordon on the team beacuse team USA was that good and that much better and athletic than the competition, not because Gordon was that expendable.
You do realize that this is only Eric Gordon's third year in the NBA right? We're not talking about a veteran player here...
Turner is 6' 7", but he's isn't long or athletic. He's an average athlete. I think Turner is a better overall player than Gordon and should be better, but he's not a lock to be a great player. He'll have to improve his jumper and ability to play off of the ball.
And I wouldn't blame you if you said you never watched LAC games, but Gordon has already held his own against those players. He's had no problems defending Kobe, Wade, Roy, Johnson, Jackson, Ginobli, Richardson, etc. And I don't know too many players that could defend Kobe, Wade, etc in a seven game series... Especially 21 year olds.
Gordon is slightly taller than 6' 3", but he has a 6' 9" wingspan and weighs over 220 lbs. He has no problems defending, which is something you're ignoring...
"Reddick could have easily replaced Gordon on that Team and It wouldn't have made a difference...."
With respect to you my man, I will disagree with that... Yes... Redick is a shooter the same as with Gordon but I don't think he can very well have that high of a percentage as Gordon in FIBA... At the same time, Gordon has been a very good perimeter defender and is a pest... Redick is an average defender... Yes, he has improved on defense but he is not a shutdown/getting steals kind of player... Eric Gordon has proven to be a valuable asset on that team... If Redick is there, sure he would make a difference but not much of an impact as Eric's...
Gordon is better than Reddick and I like both players. I think Gordon being on the Clippers and being hurt could be the reason he has not had the transition to the NBA that many people including myself were expecting. Although it could be his height even with length. He was a monster in college before the wrist injury so I am wondering why he is not averaging more points or becoming the focal point of teams he plays for. It may be this year where he breaks up like Durant did. You know that Durant is going to dominate when he is on the floor and I expected Eric Gordon to be the same way but it has yet to happen.
He's a solid SG in the NBA...I said that if you wnat to build a winner you don't put all your eggs into a 6'3 maybe 6'4 Sg...(he's not 6'4 too)...unless Gordon can become a Ray Allen type off the ball, best shooter in the world player he won't be a championship guard...I'd love Gordon on any team that also had a elite PG...someone who can break down Defenses with ease and get EG an endless amout of open 3's...but the Clipps dont have that anymore...Davis is going to fade away fast and then that'll leave the Clippers with a hole to fill at PG...but they really need a Harrison Barnes or Perry Jones and could certainly look for a Sg with sized too...A Pg would be ideal if their is no Sg or Sf worth the pick they will get...
exactly is the next step? 20ppg? being more consistent?
with the way the clipps roster is, i don't see him putting up too great of numbers (besides scoring)
blake is a monster, kaman is too & needs touches, baron is a versatile pg, gomes is versatile & aminu's best feature of his game is his rebounding.
if everyone works out & he maxes out, he could put up kevin martin type numbers. (prob reverse the assists & rebounds)
k-mart2 reached 20ppg with 13fga & a 23% usage in 06
eric gordon had a 21% usage rate last yr. i could see the usage jump up to that easily,
but k-mart was extremely efficient that yr. ts% over 60 .. and 47% fg .. that's crazy for a 2 guard.
so don't look at me like I'm crazy...I said that they would have had the same impact in FIBA play with them both being great shooter and role players on good teams...Now Gordon may be the best Combo guard to come out in the lasty few years and can be a good scorer at any position or role you'd put him in...but he's not what you typically want in a SG...you would love to a guy with his skills stand at a legit 6'5 or taller...Gordon at 6'6 would be very dangerous...pound for pound inch for inch he's a great player but the NBA is about matchups and exploiting them when you have a mismatch...Gordon will be a mismatch almost every night at 6'3...Though his skill and will may be that of a bigger player he's not bigger than any 2 guards that he'll face in the playoffs(if they ever make the playoffs....thus making making him a liabilty)
Joe Dumars was 6' 3" as well and I don't think you'll ever hear anybody say he was a liability on defense.
But Dumars was playing in a different era and had Isiah Thomas ( An Elite PG to break down the Defense )
If someone like Kyrie Irving can become an Isiah Thomas clone and The Clippers get this Bad Boy attitude over the next 2 seasons' I'll stop thinking that Gordon is an Ideal 6th man and can be Championship caliber starting SG...
But do you see that Team becoming a Bad Boy's esqe type Team out West...Where's Lambert,The Worm and John Salley...They have a Dumars type SG and Griffin...who I think can be a Kenyon Martin in his prime type PF but not a Malone like Hall of Famer PF like people predict...Aminu is no Rodman and Kaman is no Lambert...
Eric Gordon, regarless of what his height may be is dangerous because of two factors. One, his strength. Gordon, has an NBA body, and he has had it since college. He is able to absorb contact and make a difference at the line to make up for the historically poor FT shooting of Baron Davis. Two, his athleticisim. Gordon has one hell of a verticle. He knows how to play above the rim. 3pt shooting maybe his calling card, but I wouldn't be suprised to see more guys have Eric Gordon poster's hanging up on their walls this season.
I think Gordon can take that next step, but i think it would be great for him to learn some pg though considering his height. But yeah there is alot to like about his strong frame, range, and his play this summer.