PHOENIX — I don’t care much for ROY debates, but Eric Gordon demonstrates tonight that he belongs prominently in any conversation about this class of rookie guards. But we knew that.
Regarding his play tonight, well, it’ll be familiar to anyone who’s watched him all year. He shoots the lights out from beyond the arc [3-4 3PA]. He uses his quicks and strength to drive to the hole, and looks to draw contact. On a couple of occasions, he loses the handle — a part of his game that he’ll work on and improve. He doesn’t force any shots in a game where there’s little cost for doing so.
With Kevin Durant starting at the 2 for the Sophomores, Eric has the thankless task of guarding him. I think it’s reasonable to give him a pass, don’t you?
Al Thornton exhibits his athleticism for the crowd in Phoenix and seems much more relaxed in the schoolyard brand of basketball played here tonight. He makes a couple of spectacular passes on drives, something he rarely does within the confines on the Clippers’ halfcourt offense.
We get to see Thornton guard Eric for a couple of possession, something Eric mentioned today everyone in the Clippers’ locker room was hoping to see. At that juncture, Clipper Darryl, who is in a luxury box on the west side of the arena, gets up and starts a chant of “Let’s Go Clippers, Let’s Go!” It falls upon deaf ears.
The rookies spent much of their day on public display and available to the media. Eric looked like he was having the time of his life. He laughed with reporters, spoke with confidence about his growth as a player, but was modest. In a word: Classy.