Eric Gordon's Long Awaited Return
The Hornets travelled to Charlotte on Saturday to play against a Bobcats team that had lost a whopping 17 games in a row. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they were playing their city’s former franchise and a team that had faced a fair share of struggles so far this season, but whatever it was, the Bobcats came out strong. They opened up a 21-point lead in the second quarter, and seemed to be well on their way to spoiling Gordon’s season debut.
The Hornets came into the game with a sad streak of their own, losing 12 of their past 13, but they got an extra spark off the bench in this particular game, and a big second-half comeback propelled the Gordon/Davis era to a 1-0 start.
Gordon wasted no time establishing himself as the team’s aggressor, and the knee certainly looked fine as he slashed down the lane and hoisted jumpers. In under 25 minutes, he took 13 shots from the field and went to the line 14 times. His final line for the night: 5-13 FGs, 12-14 FTs, 24 points, 7 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers.
After missing 31 straight games dating back to last season, Gordon has a lot of work to do to win over the understandably frustrated Hornets fans, but this is undoubtedly a good start. When New Orleans matched Phoenix’s max-contract offer to Gordon, it was proof the franchise wanted him as their cornerstone. Yet the organization received a lot of scrutiny for the monetary commitment since Gordon had only played in 9 games for the team at the time. Then it didn’t make things any easier when the Hornets were so ‘hush-hush’ over Gordon’s knee injury this season, giving very vague timetables as to his return.
At 7-23, the Hornets don’t stand much of a chance to go anywhere this season (8.5 games back of the eighth seed in the West), but it will be interesting to see if the team can start to find their identity down the line and gain some momentum going into next season and whether Gordon can be the steady 20-25 points per game scorer they will need him to be.