All-Star voting is a popularity contest, but James Harden thinks teammate Eric Gordon is deserving of a selection. 

The fans, even with the NBA’s slight adjustment to the voting, get a nice say in who starts for the respective All-Star squads. James Harden will certainly be there, as will Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and the rest of the NBA’s icon. For the backups, however, people inside the league get to vote, which leads to some under-the-radar guys getting the recognition they deserve.

Eric Gordon has had a phenomenal year with the Houston Rockets, and his acclimated to his role with Mike D’Antoni beautifully. After the team’s 101-91 victory over the Washington Wizards, Harden had nothing but praise for EG:

“All-Star for sure. All-Star for sure. Especially with the record that we have right now. I mean, he sacrificed for the team. Obviously, he can start, but he sacrifices, comes off the bench, and he plays extremely well. He’s definitely an All-Star-caliber player troubled by injuries in his previous years, but he’s healthy, he feels great, he’s playing great.”

Behind Harden’s 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Houston improved to 27-9, making them the third-best team in the West. Gordon was just as instrumental as Harden in the victory, and the 28-year-old finished with 31 points while going 6-of-12 from beyond the arc.

Let’s face it: this is the perfect role for Gordon.

This is the first season since Gordon’s rookie year 2008 where he hasn’t dealt with any injuries, and he’s been lucky enough to suit up for all 36 of the Rockets’ games. In his sixth man role, Gordon averages 17.7 points in 30.6 minutes, and he leads the NBA with 136 made threes on a staggering 42.8 percent shooting.

Before this year, Gordon had missed 239 games over his first eight seasons, and he’s never been such a dynamic three-point shooter.

Well, it’s because he’s never been healthy.

Over those same eight seasons, his three-point percentage was 38.3, a clip that was highly respectable before the shift to a more perimeter-oriented game. It’s still a nice clip, but we’ve become desensitized and accustomed to seeing new-school players drill more than 40 percent of their outside shots.

According to Basketball Reference, the Rockets average 115 points per 100 possessions with Gordon on the floor, and they’re also +7.4 with him out there.

Because of his dead-eye marksmanship, the floor is as spread out as it could be. Not only does this benefit Harden and the rest of the team, but Gordon can be more than a spot-up shooter.

He has some skills as a shot creator. It’s not to the same extent as Harden, but D’Antoni can put Gordon in a high pick-and-roll and he’s playing so well that all he needs to a sliver of space to get his shot off.

When you look at the season he’s having, how he’s doing it and how much he means to the Rockets, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in New Orleans this February. But, that doesn’t mean I’d select him.

Although the shooting guard position is weak, the West still has three players I’d select over Gordon at that position: Klay Thompson, C.J. McCollum and Zach LaVine.

More Rockets:

Start a conversation with me on Twitter