Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Dirk Nowitzki and Eric Gordon...which name doesn't seem to belong?
If you said Gordon, think again.
A quick check of the top-five scorers in the NBA through the end of November shows the previously mentioned five players at the top of the chart.
Despite the poor record the Los Angeles Clippers have posted through the first month (3-15), from a fantasy point of view the team is full of promise.
The leading candidate for this year's NBA Rookie of the Year Award is the Clippers' Blake Griffin, who sat out all of last year with an injury. But it 2010, the 6'10" power forward is putting up amazing numbers (20.2 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 2.6 apg). He's already accumulated 11 double-doubles.
But Griffin was a No.1 overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft and big things were expected of him if he could stay healthy.
What's much more unexpected is the drastic improvement of Gordon, the third year guard out of Indiana. Gordon had already posted two consistent, though unspectacular, seasons and most fantasy owners expected more of the same - meaning around 16 points, two rebounds and three assists per game.
Heading into Draft Day, fantasy owners made the 6'3" guard a seventh-round selection (ADP 80). Some of the other guards chosen around the same time as Gordon include; Jrue Holiday (ADP 76), John Salmons (ADP 78), Jamal Crawford (ADP 79) and Jameer Nelson (ADP 86)
But Gordon is the best fantasy player of that group.
Playing a career-high 37.2 minutes-per-game, Gordon's game has jumped to a new level. And not just a small jump either. He's averaging a career-high 24.3 points-per-game, up from 16.4 ppg over his first two seasons. Gordon is also averaging career highs in rebounds-per-game (3.1), assists-per-game (4.9) and blocks-per-game (0.5).
Gordon is one of the "veterans" on the Clippers yet is still just 21-years- old, having left college after his freshman season. He starts at shooting guard with two rookies, PG Eric Bledsoe, PF Griffin, and a bunch of well- traveled (read mediocre-at-best) veterans like Ryan Gomes, Randy Foye, Rasual Butler, Craig Smith and Jarron Collins.
Gordon and the two rookies, being the future of the franchise, should continue to get the minutes and the opportunities to produce big numbers. So while the Clippers continue to lose games at a stunning pace (11 of their last 13), fantasy owners are still enjoying some good statistics from a couple of their players.