The Houston Rockets had a historic moment in last night’s victory over the Orlando Magic, but as the hangover from the stiff dose of the best of James Harden slowly subsides, a sobering thought comes to light: the Rockets lost Eric Gordon to injury last night.
It feels like we’ve been over this story already, but we haven’t. Gordon has actually been pretty healthy since joining the Rockets. In fact, he’s only missed 2 games this year after playing in 75 games last season, which was the second most of his career after his rookie season.
But Gordon left last night’s victory with what’s being described as back stiffness, and he’s already being called questionable for Thursday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
We’ll likely know more in the next 24 hours or so, but Rockets beat man Jonathan Feigen said this morning that Gordon’s injury, while not apparently serious, “calls for caution.”
What exactly that means is anyone’s guess until we get further confirmation on the extent of the injury from the Rockets, but I’m willing to bet he does miss at least a few games. A back injury, even if it’s muscular and not structural as Gordon’s appears to be, is nothing to play around with. If Gordon is sore, it’s wise to sit him until he feels better.
This comes on the heels of losing Trevor Ariza until at least late next week and Chris Paul also sitting out due to a sore groin. Paul’s injury is also not thought to be serious, but his exact return date is currently unknown as well. The Rockets also want him fully healthy before returning.
That leaves the Rockets perilously thin in the back court, and unfortunately for us, The Beard isn’t putting up 60-point triple doubles every single night. The trade deadline is fast approaching, and I mentioned in the last Tuesday 5-on-5 that Houston’s biggest need was another guard capable of handling the ball. That seems more needed than ever in light of these recent injuries.
Thankfully, we should see both Paul and Gordon back on the court sooner rather than later, but with both EG and the aging Paul carrying injury history — and we all know the best predictor of future injury is past injury, no matter how random these things seem — I’m crossing my fingers that GM Daryl Morey has a guard back-up plan in the works.
With the Golden State Warriors finally looking like a mortal NBA team, this is the best chance the Rockets have had in years to reach the NBA Finals. I’d hate to see it derailed by unfortunate injury.
Hurry back, EG, Trev and CP3!