Here is another reader post. Thanks to Michael and all of our readers –42
Transition: Gordon scored the majority of his buckets in transition against Dallas, either bringing the ball up himself or running the floor and finishing the play. This was a welcome sight for fans, as this year’s Hornets team has rarely gotten out on the break. Gordon is very good in the open floor, using his agility, strength, and coordination to weave his way to the basket and score. He was aggressive in attacking the rim, drawing three “And 1s” on the night. This was a positive sign.
Pick and roll: Gordon was not particularly effective attacking in the half-court, especially in the second half. He did, however, find the roller (Anthony Davis) on his way to the basket on several occasions. He also had a couple of nice feeds to Robin Lopez and Al-Farouq Aminu out of half-court sets. No one would have mistaken him for CP3 out there, but he was at least looking for his teammates.
Defensive Assignment: OJ Mayo. Mayo has not been particularly effective lately and has posted below-average scoring numbers and percentages in recent games. His role has diminished since the return of Dirk Nowitzki and his shooting has cooled off after a torrid start to the season. Mayo appeared disinterested for much of the game, and he did nothing against the Hornets. Gordon is adept at defending his man and must be given some credit, but Mayo was certainly in no danger of over-exerting himself against New Orleans.
Closing Time: Gordon’s play took a nose-dive in the second half, as he began to bail Dallas out with jump shots and turnovers. He is supposed to be the Hornets’ closer, and failed miserably in this regard against Dallas, as he turned the ball over in two crucial possessions at the end of the game.
Qualifier: The refs missed a couple of fouls that would have sent Gordon to the line for free throws.
Posting up: It’s time to end this experiment of Gordon posting up his defender. Matched up against Isaiah Thomas, who is a “fun size” version of an NBA guard, Gordon decided to take a fadeaway baseline jumper. He also turned the ball over after posting up rail-thin Darren Collison of the Mavericks, and Gordon has yet to show an ability to take advantage of his defender in the post. He did manage to get good position on Thomas once in transition, but largely, he has shown that this is not his forte.
Transition: Gordon once again excelled in transition, and this game, it wasn’t just him doing it by himself. He rewarded Anthony Davis for running the floor, finding him with three passes in transition that were punctuated by exciting dunks. He also had an alley-oop to Aminu on the break.
Distributing: Gordon posted 8 assists this game, 4 of which are mentioned in the transition section above. He also hit Ryan Anderson in the numbers for a couple of 3 pointers, though these came when the game was essentially over, and the Kings were walking around on defense.
Defensive Assignment: Tyreke Evans is a bulldozer getting to the rim, but the Kings chose to run the majority of their offense through Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins. This left Evans on the perimeter, where he is completely useless. Evans, like Mayo and Watson, did nothing against the Hornets. Evans did catch Gordon ball-watching a few times and slipped behind him on cuts to the basket.
Gordon drew the short straw against the Nets, as they decided to allow Gerald Wallace to blanket Gordon for the entire game. On offense, Wallace was camping in the corner, so he had plenty of energy to make life miserable for Gordon on the other end of the floor. Wallace has lost a step over the years, but he is still a very good athlete, and his presence bothered Gordon all game. When Gordon did manage to get in the paint, Brook Lopez slid over and either altered or blocked his shots. His shot was simply off tonight, and it shows in the box score, as he went 4-15 from the floor.
-The refs missed Gerald Wallace goaltending one of Gordon’s shots.
-The attention Gordon received allowed his teammates to grab a couple of easy offensive rebounds
Defensive Assignment: C.J. Watson
Watson is nothing spectacular, and he only started because of an injury to Joe Johnson. The Nets do not run their offense through him, and he did virtually nothing on the night. Gordon also briefly guarded some other players, and did fine, save for Deron Williams crossing him up near the 3 point line.
Oklahoma City (Loss)
DNP- it’s okay, I’d rather not talk about this horror movie anyway.
Aggression: Gordon was pretty aggressive in attacking the basket this week, and he also got out and did some damage in transition. Again, his game is getting to the rim, and I’d rather see him get to the rim and miss than bail a defense out with a lazy jumper. The results were nothing to write home about, but it’s nice to see him in attack mode. He earned 9 free throws against Dallas and 5 against Sacramento, and if not for some missed calls, should have had even more than that.
Turnovers: This has been a theme all year, and this week was no exception. Gordon must start taking better care of the ball. He had 4 turnovers against Sacramento, 5 against Dallas, and 1 against Brooklyn. His teammates are often too far away or too slow to recover after Gordon loses the ball, and consequently, the Hornets are getting burned for some easy fast-break points. The good news is that his ball-handling is coming around, and the bad news is he’s still making some poor decisions that lead to turnovers.
Rebounds: 5 rebounds in 3 games? Next subject.
Things to Look For Going Forward
-Splitting of the Pick and Roll: This was a staple of Gordon’s game the last few years, and it often leads to some easy baskets or rebounds. In the past, Gordon was very good at using his explosion to get between two defenders on the high pick and roll. His ball-handling has recently started to show some signs of improvement, as has his explosion, and he is showing glimpses of being able to split pick and rolls again.
-Free throws: The Hornets do not have another player capable of consistently getting to the line off of dribble penetration. Gordon’s ability to get to the basket helps get the other team in foul trouble, which either leads to free throws or a quicker trip into the bonus. Ideally, I’d like to see Gordon getting to the line around 6 or 7 times per game.
Aggression: Some progress
Transition: Good progress
Passing: Some progress
Scoring: No progress
On-Ball Defense: No change (still good)
Off-Ball Defense: No change (still bad)
Rebounding: No progress
Efficiency: No progress
Turnovers: No progress