ADVERSITY AT ITS FINEST

Here's what Eric Gordon's injury means for the Rockets

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It was just reported today that Eric Gordon will miss two weeks because of an ankle injury. Gordon has looked good in practice, so it caused Mike D'Antoni to put him in the starting lineup over Danuel House. D'Antoni has raved about putting Gordon in the starting lineup despite a tough start against the Toronto Raptors.

"Actually, our lineup is better with Russell, James, Eric, P.J., and Covington," D'Antoni said last Friday.

D'Antoni felt Gordon added more of a veteran presence to the starting five he created.

Honestly, Gordon missing time can take away from his rhythm again. Missing two weeks is major for the Rockets. The Rockets are already chasing the third or fourth seed with a tough schedule ahead of them. They need every weapon before the shorter season starts. The team will miss Gordon's strong veteran presence and shooting.

"Of course Eric is a huge part of what we're doing. Hopefully, he can get his ankle healed soon as possible," said James Harden after the win against the Boston Celtics on Zoom. "But we've played with adversity all year. It's another opportunity for us to step up."

The Athletic's Kelly Iko reported that Austin Rivers' minutes will go up but who will get the starting position? It's looking like Danuel House could get his starting position back. Ben McLemore would be a good option because of his shooting. He understands his role well and uses his athleticism in transition. Do not be surprised if Robert Covington or P.J. Tucker move to the SF position for Jeff Green to start.

D'Antoni has a lot of options to replace Gordon. He is an offensive genius and will make the right decision for the Rockets. Hopefully, Gordon will not miss too much time.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans loss rests squarely on this decision

Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Getty Images.

There are times in which you gamble and it pays off. Then there are times in which you gamble and lose badly. Today was definitely the latter. The Texans fell to the Titans 42-36 in an overtime thriller. The loss rests squarely on the head of interim head coach Romeo Crennel and his ill-timed gambling at the end of the game.

It started with the gamble to go for it on 4th&1 on the Titans' 35-yard line with 4:37 left in the game. That move said two things: A) we're on the road at 1-4 against the 4-0 division leader up by one point so let's try to end this, or B) I don't trust our kicker to make a 53-yard field goal. They converted because David Johnson is good for slamming into the backs of the offensive line for at least a yard or three. The next gamble came eight plays later. It was 4th & Goal from the 1-yard line. The play call was a pass. Deshaun Watson found Randall Cobb after scrambling to extend the play and putting the ball in a tight window on the sideline where only Cobb could catch it. Here's where I started to have a problem with the gambling.

That touchdown made it 36-29 in favor of the Texans. Up by seven with less than two minutes left in the game, the "right" call would be to kick the extra point to potentially go up by eight. That forces the opposition to have to score a touchdown and convert a two point conversion in order to tie the game. Alas...Crennel gambled by trying to force things, went for two, and came up short. Kenny Rogers once said: You've got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run.

The porous defense, however, gave up the game tying touchdown and extra point with four seconds left to send the game into overtime. From there, the Titans got the ball in overtime and drove down the field for the game winning score. A team that played a game on Tuesday evening bullied a team on Sunday at noon. Let that sink in. Sure, Derrick Henry is a linebacker playing running back, but the amount of yards you gave up to him was unacceptable.

Not kicking that extra point to go up by eight with less than two minutes left (1:50 to be exact) was the key coaching move that I feel cost them the game. There's no coming back from blunders like that when you're now 1-5 and would need to go at least 8-2 with tons of help down the stretch to have an outside shot at the newly created seventh spot in the playoffs. You had the division leader down and were in position to get a division win to go to 2-4. Instead, you're now in position to help the Dolphins continue to improve their franchise from the boneheaded decisions Bill O'Brien made before his exit. Crennel and staff coached a good game, until the end when it mattered most. With an extra playoff spot available, they still have an outside shot to make it, but it'll be difficult.

This city and fanbase deserve better. One day, they'll get it and get a winner. Until then unfortunately, they'll have to settle for purgatory, disappointment, and mediocrity. Hold tight. I see good things coming one day Houston football fans.

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