The story of the Clippers this season has been the rash of injuries to virtually all of their top players. It's been the main reason that the team is just 2-16 over their last 18 games, and why the club sits near the very bottom of the standings. But all those injuries might have had a (very small) silver lining: rookie Eric Gordon has gotten to play huge minutes, and he's improved to the point where he's received some league-wide recognition.
Gordon was named to the rookie team roster, and will be in Phoenix for All-Star weekend to participate in the Rookie Challenge event that kicks off the festivities. The event is an All-Star game of sorts that has nine of the league's top rookies playing against a similarly elite group of second-year players: the sophomore squad.
When you look at the list of rookies that will be playing alongside Gordon in this event, you can really see that it was an honor for him to be one of the nine players chosen. Michael Beasley, Derrick Rose, Greg Oden, O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Rudy Fernandez, Marc Gasol, and Brook Lopez round out the rookie roster.
Gordon will be playing against one of his Clipper teammates, as Al Thornton made the game as a member of the sophomore squad. He'll play alongside the likes of Kevin Durant, and will do his best to ensure the sophomores extend their six-game winning streak in the event over the rookies.
From a numbers standpoint, choosing Gordon and Thornton for the event was a no-brainer: Thornton ranks second in the league in scoring (for second year players) at over 17 points per game, and in his last 13 games, Gordon has averaged over 21 points, the most of any rookie over that time frame this season.