Gordon defies size (and nickname) to become Clippers' leader
Based on his statistics,
"I like the name," said Gordon. "I'm an undersized guy who does powerful things. Hobbit -- that's a nice little nickname for me."
If that is Gordon's definition of a hobbit, than it certainly fits the 6-foot-3, 220-pound guard who is averaging 18.4 points for the Clippers this season and has given them reason not to run for the exits in the fourth quarter of games.
Gordon has developed into the most important player on a team that still believes it'll be in the playoffs if it stays healthy. And that's a big "if," considering it's almost never healthy. No. 1 draft pick
Gordon's impact may not have been fully appreciated until he was sidelined and the Clippers went 3-6 and dropped three straight to teams they were favored to beat. They were blown out by 28 to a Hornets team in disarray and on the verge of firing
The lineup of Gordon, Camby,
"He's so explosive," said Clippers coach
While Gordon has become a fan favorite for the Clippers, largely for his scoring ability, his true impact on the team this season has been on the defensive end, where he has routinely been matched up against the top perimeter scorer.
Against the Wizards this week, Gordon held
"The things fans might not see is the little things he does defensively as far as getting steals, causing turnovers and missed shots," said Kaman. "He's the best defensive player on this team."
Gordon has become a closer on a team that failed to hold onto a fourth-quarter lead in his absence. Even Davis, who signed a five-year, $65-million contract with the Clippers last year and became the face of the franchise, concedes that Gordon has taken over the leading role.
"He sets the tone and tempo for us," said Davis. "He's becoming a playmaker. He's making my job a lot easier and giving me open shots because the defense is going to focus on him and double team him a lot. Eric is the focal point of our offense. We just play off of him."