Data shows Eric Gordon has put the clamps on Warriors’ Klay Thompson
Eric Gordon seems to be quickly developing into the three-and-D force the Houston Rockets had long expected him to be, as Second Spectrum data suggests he’s been an integral part of keeping Klay Thompson quiet throughout the course of the Houston Rockets series against the Golden State Warriors.
Gordon has been a stud on offense, averaging 24 points per game in this Western Conference Semifinal series and 18.5 per game for the playoffs, but he’s done his best work on the defensive end, limiting Thompson to 16.7 points per game through this series.
According to the data (h/t ESPN’s Tim MacMahon), Thompson has scored four points on 1-of-8 shooting in the 125 possessions in which he’s been defended by Gordon. Similarly, Donovan Mitchell scored 38 points on 13-of-41 from the floor (31.7%) with nine turnovers in 180 possessions defended by Gordon during a first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz.
Thompson taking only eight shots also means something different. His usage rate has plummeted this postseason, as Kevin Durant has seen most of the ball throughout this series.
Yet it’s still a credit to Gordon, who is often locked-in on his target despite giving up three inches on the 6-foot-7 marksman, who has proven a much smaller factor than what the Rockets expected to see from him.
Thompson is shooting 40.1% from the floor this series and Gordon deserves a huge chunk of credit for limiting his firepower in this vital battle to come back from a 2-0 deficit.
Gordon helped Houston take the first step on Saturday, scoring 30 points and helping lead them to a home win, now trailing 2-1 in the series.