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Eric Gordon admits Rockets are ‘in a funk’

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Eric Gordon has struggled to find his groove through the early stretch of this season, back into a bench role after starting most of last season. The Houston Rockets thrust Gordon into the starting shooting guard spot last season, getting the nod in 53 of his 68 appearances — yet he’s only made one start in six games in 2019-20, all while shooting a ghastly 27.3% from the floor to start out the campaign.

Gordon is known to be a fast starter, making this a rather surprising development now that his role has reverted to being a spark plug off Mike D’Antoni’s bench, considering the coach had advertised him as a starter. The sharpshooter won’t make much of his struggles, claiming everyone in the Rockets (3-3) will have to pick up the slack from now on.

‘To be honest, everyone’s in a funk,” Gordon told Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “There’s not one player that’s playing very well on our team. Until we find ways to have each other’s back and play at a high level — playing for one another — that’s the only way we’re going to have a chance at doing anything special. That’s what it’s going to boil down to.”

The 6-foot-3 marksman is getting 12.2 shot attempts per game, his fewest since joining Houston. Yet he is still launching 8.5 threes per game — consistent with the 8.8 attempts per game he’s had in his last three seasons with the Rockets, though connecting at a disappointing 21.6% clip through the early stretch.

Prior to a 129-100 spanking at the hands of the Miami Heat, the Rockets’ prior two losses were by single digits, which have quickly put them out of the playoff race.

“We’ve gotta talk it out. We gotta sacrifice more. Every game’s been close,” said Gordon. “We’ve lost big leads when we’ve won. We’ve just been going through a tough time this season. This is the first time being on a really good team where there’s just not really one person playing really well. We’ve just gotta get back to the basics of playing for one another and having each other’s back defensively. That’s what makes the game fun.”

Gordon will have to be a contributing part of the offense before he hangs his hat on the defensive end as he has in the last few seasons, as the duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook have had their fair share of headaches clicking through this early stretch.