Jrue Holiday with Eric Gordon could be one of the more interesting backcourts in the NBA. Throw in an improved Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans at the three, Ryan Anderson to space the floor and suddenly that is a potentially dangerous team in the Big Easy.
The question is how much Gordon can do? He wasn’t horrible last season scoring 17.3 points a game, but he shot just 40.2 percent overall and 32.4 percent from three, well off his career averages. He wasn’t healthy and it showed. After battling knee issues for more than a season he had his ankle scoped in May.
“Health-wise, I’ve been doing pretty good, been taking it slow but moving around really well,” he said. “As long as I get to the 100 percent point before training camp, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
When the Pelicans got Gordon he was the centerpiece of what was coming back to them in the Chris Paul deal. But injuries and at times an attitude on the court that made him look like he wanted to be anywhere else has held him back. Now with a good team there, will things be different? Pelican fans hope so.
Gordon sounds like a guy who wants to move forward.
“It’s not like I’ve been playing terrible, I just haven’t been fully effective to where I should be,” he said. “I look forward to that this year.”
If Gordon is back to his pre-injury self, New Orleans is going to be a team to watch this season. They may be anyway.
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“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.
“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”
That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.
I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?
It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.