Eric Gordon has become a key rotational piece for the LA Clippers

Eric Gordon, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Gordon, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

As the clichéd saying goes, there’s no place like home; LA Clippers guard, Eric Gordon, is a prime example of this. Through a hyper-competitive, ultra-toxic, sweat-drenching league like the NBA, the adage holds a lot of truth.

For some, it means playing for the team that you grew up cheering for — take, for instance, LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. For others, it means re-donning the threads of a team you once played for. For Gordon, it means running it back with the very team that served as the gateway to the league and his eventual long-lasting career as a sharp-shooting scorer.

Gordon, 34, recently escaped the screw-up that the Houston Rockets are in a three-team trade with the LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies. The last time he put on Clipper colors was in 2010-11, when he averaged 22.3 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in the 2010-11 NBA season.

Unfortunately, in his first games back in Los Angeles, Gordon didn’t quite look like the smooth-scoring youngster Clippers fans last saw him as.

Truth be told — the veteran wing looked sluggish and rusty, going two of seven in his debut, logging just seven points. Things didn’t fare much better as the Clippers were three games deep into what would eventually unfold as a devastating five-game losing streak. In the final two games of February, the Indiana product missed all six of his field-goal attempts and tallied zero points.

Then came the injury of Marcus Morris Sr. and the immediate change to Gordon’s impact on the LA Clippers.

With Tyronn Lue’s go-to veteran forward sidelined, Gordon got the nod. Given the spot as a starter, the veteran wasted no time in showing fans what he’s capable of producing. He dropped 16 points against the Golden State Warriors and followed up with a 21 point outing against the Sacramento Kings on an impressive eight-of-13 shooting from the field.

Eric Gordon’s current spot in the rotation is the LA Clippers’ recipe for success.

With Morris back in action, Lue is utilizing Eric Gordon as a reliable off-the-bench scoring option for the LA Clippers. This is a strategic move from the coaching staff as the team’s most prolific bench scorer, Norman Powell, remains out with a shoulder injury.

And whatever role he is given, it’s clear that Gordon will contribute to the team’s success on both ends of the floor. Knocking down the three-ball at a 38.5% clip since joining the Clippers, Gordon offers consistent shooting, whether that’d be off of a catch-and-shoot look or in isolation.

On the defensive end, the veteran is an experienced guard, who, despite his shorter stature, can lock down most undersized guards — especially near the paint.

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The cherry on top — with 15 seasons under his belt, he understands the game very well. He knows how to complement ball-dominant superstars like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George; having played 55 playoff games, he understands the ins and outs of postseason hoops; most importantly, he knows how much the Clippers have developed since his last stint. Accordingly, he understands that this team, more than most other franchises, is dying to win a championship.