Beneath the Screen: Gordon’s Struggles

Published: January 11, 2013

In his post yesterday, Ryan pointed out why the Hornets are playing well despite Eric Gordon’s offensive struggles.

I, on the other hand, wanted to see exactly why he is struggling. So I dug into some film and came away with a fairly shocking observation: Eric Gordon has been struggling in the pick and roll.

This actually surprises me because, as I’ve noted before, Gordon is an excellent pick and roll ball handler and a lethal finisher at the rim. Yet Gordon is scoring a paltry 0.59 point per play as the pick and roll ball handler  That’s not good. Even worse, he turns it over 24.4% of the time. And to sum it up nicely, the Hornets only score 31.7% of the time (made basket or free throw) when the play ends with Gordon as the pick and roll ball handler (the play ends in an attempted shot, turnover, or free throw).

After looking at all of his turnovers in the pick and roll, they mainly occur one of three ways: 1) Gordon attacks the rim, the defense collapses, and he doesn’t kick the ball out. 2) He takes a very wide angle to the rim and runs out of room near the baseline. 3) Gordon makes a poor decision on where to pass.

I would say let’s turn to the Madistrator but I’m having some computer trouble tonight and don’t have any images for you. I will try and put some in this weekend.

So why is this happening?

Monty has pointed out of multiple occasions that Gordon needs to get back into basketball shape. While kind of a ridiculous notion, Gordon has seem winded later in games. Further hammering home this point is the fact that most of Gordon’s turn over while running the pick and roll have occurred in the 2nd half.

Let’s also not forget that tonight will only be Gordon’s 6th game back. He hasn’t had the luxury of training camp or preaseason to get himself caught up to NBA speed. Playing in a game is much different than practicing.

And that’s really what I’m chalking this all up to until I see something that says otherwise. We know Gordon’s talent and what he’s capable of. He’ll get back into shape and hopefully I’ll be showing you all some great plays the Hornets will be running for him.

Beneath the Screen is a reoccurring series–normally with pictures!–throughout the season run on Fridays. See past editions here.


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