The New Orleans Pelicans fell to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in a tightly contested 103-100 affair. The loss is the seventh straight for the Pelicans and the fourth loss in four games that the Pelicans have played without their All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday who is out indefinitely with a fracture in his leg.
The 2013-14 NBA season began with high hopes for the Pelicans after adding both Holiday and Tyreke Evans, but this team hasn’t been able to catch a break. Injuries have cropped up throughout their roster all season, not allowing this team to have time to gel. The present might be the worst time for them, though, as both Holiday and Ryan Anderson are out for lengthy periods of time.
However, in the absence of Holiday and Anderson, New Orleans has seen some of their key guys trying to step up. Anthony Davis has expectedly continued to perform at an All-Star level, but possibly the more surprising performance as of late has come from the oft-injured but currently healthy Eric Gordon.
Against the Rockets on Wednesday, Gordon put up 35 points, six assists, three rebounds and one steal in 42 minutes while hitting 11 of his 17 field goal attempts and catching fire from long-range as he went 6-9 from beyond-the-arc.
The impressive part for Gordon is that this performance isn’t totally an anomaly. In his past five games—the four without Holiday and the game that he was injured during—Gordon has been astounding. Playing 36.9 minutes per game, Gordon has averaged 23.4 points, 3.8 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while hitting 52.6 percent of his shots and a blistering 54.2 percent of his three-point attempts.
The problems with Gordon have never been much about talent and much more have been about his health. The Pelicans’ current injury situation likely is going to eliminate them from playoff contention. However, if Gordon can stay healthy and performing at this high of a level, at least New Orleans could remain competitive for the rest of the year.