When the Phoenix Suns signed Eric Gordon last offseason, it was a game-changing move. Coming to Phoenix for just $3.2 million was a steal considering his caliber of offensive player.
The Suns had just seen how impressive Gordon could be when he started all five games against them for the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The 2023-24 season has begun and with numerous injuries in the Suns’ starting lineup – to Devin Booker’s foot and Bradley Beal’s back – Gordon had to step up and play for Phoenix. He started several times. At the start of the season, his help had been crucial to their success.And the Suns needed him. However, Gordon began missing time in early December due to knee pain. Since Dec. 1, Gordon has missed three of the Suns’ 10 games. His absence was the reason Frank Vogel started tinkering with lineups. And there are losses associated with crafting. The Suns are 3-7 since the schedule was set to December. In the three games preceding his return, Eric Gordon was not used as much as at the start of the season. Phoenix was focused on getting Gordon his looks and he took advantage of it. In his first 18 games of the season, including 14 starts, Gordon averaged 14.7 points on 11.9 field goal attempts. In his 6 games since, he has averaged 8.7 points on 8.3 attempts. And Gordon begins to notice and express his frustrations. “It was better early in the season,” Eric Gordon said after Friday’s loss to Chris Haynes. “I haven’t been hit much lately.”With Bradley Beal still on the bench in street clothes, there’s a chance Gordon continues to be effective, but the offense has stalled and faltered as coaches have looked the other way. Whether it’s Frank Vogel and/or Kevin Young trying to boost other players in the hopes that their confidence will build and become lasting, or whether it’s simple negligence, Gordon feels. “Since the start of the season we have won seven in a row, now we have lost eight out of 11,” Gordon added. “So it’s just difficult with the type of team we have. We just have to understand what different sacrifices we have to make to win a game.”Gordon started Friday night against the Kings. Gordon attempted only two shots.Two. “We need the guys to step up,” Frank Vogel said after the Suns’ loss Friday. “I have to continue to shake things up in terms of how we use certain people. Can we involve Eric Gordon more than me? I can’t guarantee he’s involved in the crime. He’s a guy who can really help us.Well, Frank, we’ll wait. We await an offensive adjustment. We’ll wait to see if the Suns can score against bad defenses. We are waiting to see if you will release the Gordon. The team is going through a difficult moment and frustration is skyrocketing. When Gordon says he wants to be more involved, he’s not wrong. He is honest and real about what he feels is happening. He doesn’t say “trade me” and he doesn’t say “I’m unhappy.” He simply claims to be underutilized, which is correct.“When I score,” Gordon told Bleacher Report’s Chris Hyanes, “it really opens doors for a lot of people because I can score in big games and in big ways. That’s exactly what it is.EG is averaging 39% from three on 6.3 attempts. He’s one of your best three-point shooters. He should have the green light at any time, especially if the team moves on from Bradley Beal. The rest of the team definitely needs to spend time in the gym to hone their three-point shot, but Gordon is a pro. He knows how to ride the wave that a season brings.The question we are all starting to ask ourselves is: for how long?