ADVERSITY AT ITS FINEST

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

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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Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

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