The New Orleans Hornets just couldn't savor a win. On Tuesday, a day after the New Orleans Hornets beat the Utah Jazz, the Hornets learned that Eric Gordon would miss another six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. That means that the Hornets will be playing with very few real players for the next several weeks.
Or maybe even the rest of the season.
The way the Hornets have played the Gordon injury has been strange. In late January, hours before the deadline for Gordon and the Hornets to agree to an extension, Hornets head coach Monty Williams announced that Gordon would miss an additional three weeks due to his knee bruise.
Williams said, "I'm sure it's a bone bruise, but I don't know the other stuff that's going on. It's more than precaution. It just hasn't healed the way they wanted."
Williams didn't offer any specifics then. He didn't elaborate on the extent of the injury. Hornets fans were left to wonder how deep the bone bruise might be.
Again, after Gordon's surgery, Williams was mum on details. He told The Times Picayune, "I'm not a doctor and I'm not going to play one. From the information I was given, the surgery was a success and obviously they had to clean it out to make sure everything is heading in the right direction."
Williams didn't elaborate on how much fluid or other material was cleared from Gordon's knee. Also, he didn't say how the knee looked afterwards.
Hornets fans must be wondering why the best player had to miss what looks to be more than two-thirds of a season due to a knee bruise. Also, they must wonder why he had to have the knee surgery at this point in the season.
Times Picayune columnist John DeShazier made a good point in a mailbag video on Wednesday. He said:
I don't know if he was dragging his feet because he didn't want to have surgery or if it was a misdiagnosis, but somebody messed up. To me, to find out if it's structurally sound, you have to do an invasive procedure, some kind of exploratory surgery. A bruised knee or whatever he was complaining of now shouldn't take that long to heal. Even now, we don't know what happened because they're saying he's clean of the knee. What the heck does that mean?
DeShazier is right to point out that mistakes were made with the injury. If the knee was seriously injured—which didn't seem to be the case after he injured it against the Phoenix Suns in December—they should have taken more serious measures earlier.
Maybe, as DeShazier suggested, they needed an earlier exploratory surgery to examine the extent of the injury.
At any rate, the Hornets watched their season go down the drain with Gordon out. They've sank far behind the rest in the Western Conference. Three times the Hornets have suffered losing streaks of six games or more. They're next to last in the NBA in scoring average (87.2 points per game).
For the first time since Gordon's been out, the Hornets won back-to-back games this week, edging the Milwaukee Bucks 92-89 on Wednesday.
In a video posted by The Times Picayune on Tuesday, John Reid made an odd, yet sensible estimate on Gordon's timetable. Reid predicted that Gordon would miss the rest of the season.
While some might scratch their heads at that since he's said to miss only six weeks, fans should consider that Gordon has already missed more time than expected due to the injury. His recovery might be held back due to precaution.
If he does come back at the end of March as expected, Gordon would play only about 15 games. Playing 15 games at the end of a season in which his team has dreary on the court and hasn't had time on the floor with him does him little good. Also, it gives Hornets general manager little to look at in determining whether to re-sign him.
DeShazier expressed what Hornets fans must believe in saying in the mailbag video, "For him to play 12, 13 games at the end of the season is a wash."
Hornets fans must be exasperated at seeing the key player in the Chris Paul trade miss most of the season with an injury that should have kept him out just a few weeks. Gordon may very well sign with another team in the offseason. That would leave the Hornets at a loss after making a deal for the future and watching a simple injury send their season down the tubes.