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Rockets’ Eric Gordon slated to start, but has no issue playing off the bench

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Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon has been a central figure on the team’s recent successful run, hitting clutch shots over the course of seasons to help James Harden and company reach the Western Conference Finals in 2018 and at least the second round of the postseason for three consecutive years.

Now, with the acquisition of former NBA MVP point guard Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder, there have been questions surrounding whether Gordon will start for the Rockets or come off the bench. Last season the 30-year-old started in 53 of his 68 regular-season appearances. In the past, however, Gordon had been a great bench piece and Sixth Man of the Year candidate, including in 2016-17 when he won the distinction.

Per Jonathan Feigen in the Houston Chronicle, though, Gordon stated that he does not have an issue coming off the bench again.

“Eric (Gordon) right now is a starter and should be,” D’Antoni said. Gordon said D’Antoni had already told him of that plan, but he has no issues with returning to his role as Sixth Man.

“I’m here to do whatever it takes to win,” Gordon said. “From Day 1 I sacrificed to come off the bench to see how good we can be. Last year, I did start off coming off the bench. But when I did start, we won a ton of games. I know coach told me I’m starting, but I’ve shown both ways I can do whatever. I’m here to win it all.

“It’s the same thing. When I start, I’m looking forward to guarding the best perimeter player. Nothing changes for me. It’s to be aggressive offensively, also.”

Gordon averaged 16.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 31.7 minutes per game last season for the Rockets, shooting 40.9% from the floor, 36.0% from 3-point range, and 78.3% from the free throw line. Despite the semi-low field-goal percentage, nearly 64% of the 6-foot-4 Gordon’s field goal attempts have come from long range during his tenure with Houston.