December 11th 2016 at 12:58pm CST by Arthur Hill
Rockets guard Eric Gordon has become a candidate for the Sixth Man award since Patrick Beverley‘s return from injury, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Gordon has been on a tear from 3-point range since taking on the new role with at least four 3-pointers in seven straight games before the streak was snapped Friday. Gordon signed a four-year, $53MM deal with the Rockets this summer after spending the last three seasons in New Orleans. “I think Pat also really tries to find him,” said Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni. “He really makes a point of it. He’s good at it. I think it’s mostly Eric settling into his role.”
There’s more news out of Houston:
- The Rockets are trying to remain low-key contenders as they move toward the top of the Western Conference, Feigen relays in a separate story. Boosted by the offseason additions of Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Nene, Houston is 17-7, three games out of first place in the West. “Flying under the radar, I’m really cool with that,” Beverley said. “I like it way better. We’ll just try to keep knocking them down.”
- Rockets GM Daryl Morey had no comment after Saturday’s game on the status of Donatas Motiejunas, tweets Calvin Watkins of ESPN. Motiejunas, who reached a new four-year deal with the team Friday, showed up for his physical last night, but was asked to leave after it was completed.
- Morey was an analytics pioneer when the Rockets hired him for their front office in 2006, writes Michael Lewis of Forbes. His mission was to use statistical analysis to replace the basketball intuition decisions the team had been relying on. “The decision making wasn’t that good,” explains owner Leslie Alexander. “It wasn’t precise. We now have all this data. And we have computers that can analyze that data. And I wanted to use that data in a progressive way. When I hired Daryl, it was because I wanted somebody that was doing more than just looking at players in the normal way.”