Just off the numbers, Eric Gordon might be the most valuable player in the NBA. With him, the Hornets are 3-2, which I admit is a very small sample size. But still, 3-2 looks a lot better than the 12-40 abomination they are without their starting two guard. Three games into his return from a nearly season-long knee injury, Gordon has been up and down. Twenty five points on 6-for-23 shooting in two games against Minnesota and Denver while dropping 31 in a big loss against the Spurs, Gordon was coming around before a back injury forced him out on Monday night. But even with only a few glimpses this year, Hornets coach Monty Williams believes pretty strongly in his best player.
Williams was recently quoted in The New Orleans Times-Picayune saying: “Eric is about as explosive as anybody in the NBA,” Williams said. “He and (Oklahoma City’s James) Harden are the guys that are pushing Kobe (Bryant) as the best twos (shooting guards) in the West, maybe in the league.”
A very strong statement, but in a sense, he’s right. Outside of Dwyane Wade and of course Bryant, what other starting shooting guards are undoubtedly better than the man who was a centerpiece of the Chris Paul deal this winter? Harden hasn’t proved himself as a starter yet. Ray Allen is old. Kevin Martin and Monta Ellis both have visible faults.
Joe Johnson and Manu Ginobili are really Gordon’s only competition for that spot (and if we’re sticking to the West, you can obviously eliminate Johnson), and while both of those veterans have spent years sharpening their playoff merits, I’m almost positive had Gordon not been hurt this year, no one would have a problem rating him as the third-best two guard in the NBA (I’d still take Manu, but that’s a matter for another day).
As for the “about as explosive as anybody in the NBA” comment, Gordon tested out before the 2008 NBA Draft with a 40-inch max vertical and a 32-inch no-step vertical. He’s a bull in the lane with a wider base than Nicki Minaj.
I’m not sure he’s as explosive as Blake Griffin, but I wouldn’t call Williams a liar either.
Who do you think are the five most explosive players in the NBA?
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