Rockets at +1400 To Win NBA Title After Eric Gordon Ankle Injury
- Rockets guard Eric Gordon set to miss 1-to-2 weeks after injuring left ankle during Tuesday’s scrimmage
- Gordon is averaging 14.5 points per game and was likely to start once the season resumes
- Houston has the fourth-best NBA championship odds this season at +1400
The NBA’s official restart hasn’t even started yet, but some teams are already facing injury crises. The Indiana Pacers lost All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis to a foot injury last week, and now the Houston Rockets are dealing with an injury of their own. Guard Eric Gordon rolled his ankle on Tuesday night in the team’s scrimmage against the Boston Celtics.
After the game, head coach Mike D’Antoni revealed that X-rays on Gordon’s injured left ankle were negative. While that’s certainly good news for his long-term prognosis, the team still fears he may be lost for at least a couple of weeks.
This could be a touch optimistic: Early estimates on Gordon’s return to the Houston lineup center on 1-to-2 weeks, sources tell ESPN. More will be known after Wednesday’s evaluation of his left ankle. https://t.co/O1BGocfN0c
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2020
Gordon landed awkwardly after attempting a jump-pass just before halftime of Houston’s 137-112 win. His ankle twisted awkwardly, and he was eventually helped to the locker room by teammates after staying down on the court in pain for several minutes. The Rockets ruled him out for the remainder of the game shortly thereafter.
Week-to-Week Timeline for Gordon
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Gordon is expected to be sidelined for 1-to-2 weeks due to the injury. The loss is certainly a blow to a Rockets team that wins games by barraging its opponents with 3-pointers. Through 34 games this season, including 13 starts, Gordon has averaged 14.5 points per game. However, he has shot just 31.9 percent from 3-point range, which is the lowest mark of his 12-year pro career.
After the injury, All-Star James Harden said, “Of course Eric is a huge part of what we’re doing and what we’re trying to do. Hopefully, he can get his ankle healed as soon as possible, but just like we’ve dealt with adversity all year, it’s about having guys step up.”
Gordon missed six weeks after having right knee surgery back in November. His average of 14.5 points per game is the lowest mark of his four-year career with the Rockets. The 31-year-old is in the first season of a four-year, $76 million extension he signed with Houston before the 2019-20 season began.
Rockets Still Among Championship Favorites
The Rockets have the fourth-best odds of any team in the league to win the NBA championship this season. Houston is currently at +1400 to win the title at BetOnline, which puts them behind only the Los Angeles Lakers (+250), Milwaukee Bucks (+250), and Los Angeles Clippers (+330).
Gordon’s injury has not affected the Rockets’ futures odds one way or another, but if he misses an extended period of time we could see Houston’s odds dip.
Gordon Key to Houston’s Small-Ball Approach
Earlier this season, the Rockets made the bold decision to go all-in on small-ball. Houston shipped starting center Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks in a 3-team trade before February’s deadline that brought sharpshooter Robert Covington to Houston. PJ Tucker, who is generously listed at 6’5″, has been playing as the team’s primary center since Capela was traded.
Gordon was expected to join Tucker, Harden, Covington, and Russell Westbrook in Houston’s starting lineup once the regular season resumed this coming Friday, but D’Antoni will obviously have to find an alternative.
The lineup of Harden, Westbrook, Tucker, Covington, and Danuel House Jr. has an offensive rating of 111.3 with a defensive rating of 100.6. If House doesn’t join the starting lineup, D’Antoni will likely look to Ben McLemore. Austin Rivers and DeMarre Carroll are other options that could be in line for more minutes off the bench with Gordon sidelined for at least the next couple of weeks.
Gordon May Miss Most Seeding Games
If Gordon misses exactly two weeks, he stands to sit out of six of the Rockets’ games after the restart. Houston will face the Dallas Mavericks in their first game on Friday before contests against the Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs, and Indiana Pacers within the next couple of weeks.
Missing two weeks would put Gordon on track to return in time for the Rockets’ final seeding game against the Philadelphia 76ers on August 14.