The return of New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon helps the team in a number of areas. The multi-talented Gordon strengthens a Hornets' roster that has a ton of talent, but has been largely disappointing in his absence.
Gordon made his season debut on Dec. 29, scoring a game-high 24 points and adding seven assists in a win over the Charlotte Bobcats. The victory bolstered the team's record to 7-23. Since then, the Hornets have dropped two straight, with the team opting to sit Gordon in its most recent loss against Houston as the Hornets monitor the oft-injured guard's workload.
The season might not be salvageable for New Orleans, but Gordon's arrival seems to have come at the right time. Point guard Greivis Vasquez earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors for Dec. 24-30. Once Gordon returns to the starting lineup, he and Vasquez will give the team a nice pair in the backcourt to go along with leading scorer Ryan Anderson and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis.
The Hornets tried to get by with veteran Roger Mason Jr. and rookie Austin Rivers filling in for the former Indiana Hoosier, but neither made much of an impact. Gordon's presence gives opposing defenses someone they have to game-plan for.
It also helps the development of a young guy like Rivers, who can learn from watching the team's best player in action as opposed to in a suit at the end of the bench. Head coach Monty Williams told Hornets.com's Jim Eichenhofer that he's advised Rivers to keep a close eye on Gordon.
Monty:"I told Austin (Rivers) watch Eric and learn from how he plays.Try to watch how he reads pick-and-rolls and the change of pace he has."— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer)https://twitter.com/Jim_Eichenhofer/status/285823321273147392" data-datetime="2012-12-31T19:02:44+00:00">December 31, 2012
Gordon's presence and leadership aren't the only qualities that will help this Hornets team. Here's a look at some of the other things Gordon brings to the table that the Hornets have been sorely lacking while he's been gone.