Rockets Guard Eric Gordon Likely Out For NBA Seeding Games With Ankle Injury
In the second quarter of the Houston Rocket’s restart scrimmage against the Boston Celtics, Rockets guard Eric Gordon landed awkwardly on his ankle when he rose up to make a pass and immediately went down in pain and had to be helped off the court putting no weight on his ankle.
This could not have come at a worse time for a team with already shaky depth like the Rockets. Houston, which is currently the sixth seed and currently set to play the Denver Nuggets in the first round and are tied, in terms of record, with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the fifth seed with the Thunder holding the tiebreaker and are three games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks in the loss column for the seventh seed.
The team estimates that Gordon will be out for two weeks which would likely be every one of the eight seeding games. While they had a chance to move up to fifth in the standings and play the Jazz instead of the Nuggets in the first round, my speculation is that the Rockets goal heading into the bubble is to avoid dropping to the seventh seed and getting a first-round matchup with the Clippers. The Rockets have torched the Nuggets this season and have had the Jazz’s number in the previous year with their ability to play Jazz star big man Rudy Gobert off the floor with their small-ball play. The only team that can easily match and outdo the Rockets in their small-ball play and lineups which they demonstrated by beating them 120-105 on March 5, a week before the season got shut down. While it is still unlikely that the Mavs will be able to make up the gap on the Rockets, this Gordon injury won’t help. Gordon has had a down offensive season, but he added an element of lineup flexibility and solid rotation depth that will hurt their chances to get a favorable matchup in the playoffs and if he is out for longer my hurt their long term chances to make a deep run.