Danuel House Jr. to start, Eric Gordon to come off bench for Rockets

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Ben DuBose
·3 min read
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Though the Houston Rockets started three guards to finish the preseason with James Harden, John Wall, and Eric Gordon, they appear poised to return to a more traditional alignment in the regular season.

Per head coach Stephen Silas, Gordon will come off the bench when the 2020-21 season begins on Wednesday night versus Oklahoma City. In his place, 6-foot-6 forward Danuel House Jr. is likely to start in the frontcourt next to power forward PJ Tucker and center Christian Wood.

“I like House because he can guard the best player on the floor,” Silas said. “He’s a spacer. He can kind of live [on offense] off of what James, John, and C-Wood do. Then having Eric’s veteran scoring and defending punch off the bench in a more featured role, that makes sense to me.”

Gordon said he was fine in either role, as a starter or reserve. However, in contrast to previous years in which former coach Mike D’Antoni often went back and forth between starting Gordon and House, the veteran guard said that staying in a consistent role would be helpful.

Among his comments:

It’s always been tough and weird for me. I just want to have some consistency to where I either just come off the bench, or start. I know previous years, I’d always go back and forth, and it was sometimes frustrating as a player. Because when I start, Coach wanted me to use me to guard the best perimeter player, and keep the floor spaced.

But over the years, I know that all the coaches want me to have more opportunities offensively, to really be explosive if I come off the bench. I’m fine with either role, but I know I’m going to come off the bench [this season], and create a big spark for the second unit. I look forward to it.

Silas said he recently met with Gordon to discuss the situation, adding that it effectively became a mutual decision.

“Players play their best when they know what’s coming. … We talked about it, and I want him to be comfortable on the floor,” Silas said of the 6-foot-4 veteran guard. “I want him to get his shot attempts. I want him to be a primary scorer. And I felt that with the first [starting] group, it’s a little bit harder for him to be that. We both kind of came to the conclusion that him coming off the bench would be a good thing.”

“He’s had success coming off the bench, he’s had success as a starter,” Silas said of Gordon, now 31 years old. “For him to have the character to accept that role and roll with it, it means a lot to me.”

Wednesday’s regular-season opener against the Thunder tips off at 7:00 p.m. Central from Toyota Center in downtown Houston. It will be televised regionally via AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

“I just really worry about winning,” Gordon said. “I’m fine with either role. “I really don’t care, as long as we win.”

Related

James Harden avoids trade talk, sets 2020-21 goals for himself, Rockets

Stephen Silas explains starting Eric Gordon over Danuel House Jr.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Houston
+115+2.5O 215.5
Detroit
-139-2.5U 215.5