Gordon only had brief chance to show talent

Thursday, June 7, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

In the final analysis, perhaps the most disappointing and frustrating aspect of 2011-12 for the Hornets was that Eric Gordon was only on the floor for nine games. When he played, the Hornets were a competitive squad, winning six times, but unfortunately that was barely 10 percent of the 66-game schedule. As a result, the biggest piece of the Hornets’ December trade with the Clippers was unable to fully demonstrate what he can bring to an NBA squad, in particular that he’s a capable force at both ends of the floor.

“I think what people forget about Eric is how good he is at the defensive end,” credited Monty Williams. “He’s a good one-on-one defender. He’s certainly an explosive scorer. Most of those guys (who are great on defense) can’t shoot. Eric can shoot five or six feet behind the three-point line. We just haven’t had him, to show the fans what we’re going to see in the future. But he’s certainly a guy you can give the ball to in critical situations. I just think once he gets comfortable here, the best is yet to come.” Here are more quotes from and on Gordon we couldn’t squeeze into his season-recap article on Hornets.com:

ERIC GORDON
On his personality:
“I’m not an overly emotional person. As long as the job gets done, that’s why I’m focused on.”

On team winning late in season with him in lineup:
“That was the point I wanted to prove. I wasn’t going to sit out just to sit out. I’m looking forward to playing whenever I can, and try to help this team. It shows that we’re making progress.”

CHRIS KAMAN
On Gordon late in the regular season:
“Eric is a special player. People don’t understand that yet, but they will. The way he can score the basketball, push the ball through gaps, cut through holes and finish at the rim, he’ll surprise you. Right now he’s just working himself into basketball shape. He’s been out three months – it’s hard to sit out three months. I can see he’s a little rusty hitting that hole (on drives). There’s a (help defender) waiting for him (when he tries to penetrate). He’s going to finish those and you’re going to see him improve, if he can stay healthy. But he plays so hard and really puts pressure on other teams.”

On his knack for getting to the foul line:
“He puts us in the bonus real quick. He reminds me of Corey Maggette, one of my former teammates with the Clippers. That’s one of the gifts he has. He’s able to get in that gap and make things happen.”

JASON SMITH
On Gordon’s game:
“He’s that pivotal player where you can get (the ball) to him, and you don’t need to run a play for him. That’s a rarity in this league. A lot of guys can say they can go one-on-one, but he can truly go one-on-one.”