Eric Gordon Drops 12 Pounds During Coronavirus Suspension
It's largely been a frustrating 2019-20 for Eric Gordon. Save for a 50-point night in Utah on Jan. 27, Gordon's fourth year in Houston has featured a fit of stops and starts, marred both by injury and inconsistent play. But perhaps the NBA's coronavirus suspension can reverse Gordon's fortunes.
Gordon has used the league's extended break to improve his fitness and conditioning, losing 12 pounds since mid-March, per The Athletic's Kelly Iko. With a combination of sprints and an improved diet, Gordon will return to the floor slimmed down, hoping to be a key piece of the Rockets' playoff run.
The Indiana product has at times been Houston's most reliable postseason performer in recent years. He averaged 19 points per game against Golden State in the 2018 Western Conference playoffs, and 20 points per game vs. the Warriors in the 2019 playoffs. Gordon's postseason chops were part of the reason for his four-year, $76 million contract extension in July, though the Rockets haven't exactly been rewarded for their faith in 2019-20.
Gordon shot an abysmal 30.9% from the field and 28.4% from three in the first nine games of 2019-20 before undergoing knee surgery in November. His efficiency improved to a degree after returning to the floor in late December, though Gordon has still been plagued by injury. Gordon has missed time due to shin and ankle injuries since the calendar turned to 2020, and he sat out six of Houston's last 12 games before the COVID-19 suspension. Perhaps the lost weight can help keep the pressure off of Gordon's legs, allowing him to play his best basketball of the season in the playoffs.
The Rockets currently sit No. 6 in the Western Conference at 40–24. They are slated to face the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs as they seek their first Finals appearance since 1995.