2013-14 Season in Review: Eric Gordon
Pelicans.com continues its look back at the 2013-14 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:
NBA experience: Six seasons (three with Pelicans)
Games played/started: 64/64
After two seasons in which injuries limited him to a total of 51 games with New Orleans, Gordon entered 2013-14 with a primary goal of remaining healthy and being on the floor as much as possible. He achieved it – at least until March. The shooting guard appeared in 64 of the Pelicans’ first 68 games, the most contests he’s played in since his rookie NBA season with the Clippers, in 2008-09. However, left knee tendinitis led to an abbreviated eight-minute cameo at Atlanta on March 21. Gordon never returned to the court over the team’s final 14 games, then underwent knee surgery in mid-April.
Halfway through the four-year restricted free-agent contract he signed with New Orleans in 2012, Gordon’s future role is uncertain, as Pelicans Coach Monty Williams addressed during his season-ending press conference. With point guard Jrue Holiday also returning from injury in 2014-15 and Tyreke Evans having clearly demonstrated that he’s most effective as a starter – and as a guard, not a forward – the Pelicans may consider bringing Gordon off the bench next season.
“I knew somebody was going to ask me that question today,” a smiling Williams said in his season-recap presser. “I’ve thought about that. That’s part of this evaluation that we’re going to have. You have to weigh both scenarios. … I don’t want to speculate, but it is part of the equation. Anything I say right now is going to get blown out of proportion. But I have thought about Tyreke in the starting role.”
The Pelicans were 28-40 at the time of Gordon’s knee injury, including 26-38 in the 64 games he played. Williams credited Gordon with sometimes taking a backseat on offense in order for All-Star Anthony Davis to become the focal point of the New Orleans attack. That contributed to Gordon’s scoring average decreasing from 17.0 to 15.4, even though numerous other key Pelicans were sidelined for chunks of 2013-14. Gordon’s offensive production remained fairly predictable throughout the season regardless of who was on the floor, with him averaging between 14.7 and 16.7 points in each full month he played, from November to February. Overall, he averaged 15.4 points and 3.3 assists, the latter duplicating his assist numbers from the previous two years.
TOP THREE ERIC GORDON GAMES OF 2013-14
#3: Nov. 29, 2013 – New Orleans at Philadelphia
In perhaps the best illustration of 2013-14 of the Pelicans’ offensive firepower while at full strength, they extensively used Gordon, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis together in a 121-105 win. Gordon registered 26 points, the second-most he scored in a victory this season. He was 9-for-11 from two-point range and dished out seven assists vs. the 76ers.
#2: March 4, 2014 – New Orleans at L.A. Lakers
During a 132-point eruption by the Pelicans, Gordon enjoyed one of the finest shooting nights of his NBA career, sharing team high-scoring honors with Davis by firing in 28 points. Gordon was 9-for-13 from the field, including 4-for-5 on treys. He also made each of his six attempts from the foul line. His all-around offense sparked the Pelicans to a 132-125 road win and ended an eight-game losing skid.
#1: Jan. 15, 2014 – Houston at New Orleans
Statistically, this was the best offensive game Gordon has played since coming to New Orleans via trade in 2011-12. He rang up 35 points, the most he’s had in a NOLA uniform, on efficient 11-for-17 shooting from the field. Gordon drained six three-pointers against the Rockets in a narrow 103-100 defeat, tied for the most treys he’s made since arriving in the Crescent City. He also handed out six assists.