Contextualizing Ben Gordon’s slump

I probably don’t need to tell you Ben Gordon has played terribly lately, but I’m going to show you just how bad his last eight game have been.

Children, avert your eyes. These numbers are gruesome.

All charts show Gordon’s totals for the worst eight-game stretches of his career, and the dates mark the end the eight-game periods. The most recent stint is red. All other runs with the Pistons are blue. Stretches with the Bulls are black.


In his last eight games, Gordon has scored 46 points. That’s the lowest-scoring eight-game stretch of his career – by a wide margin.

He scored 55 points in his next-lowest-scoring stretch, and that involves seven of his last eight games. He scored 57 points in his lowest-scoring stretch before that, and that involves six of the last eight games.

Finally, in a stint that didn’t overlap with his current one, Gordon scored 62 points in a run of eight games that ended in March 2010.

In Gordon’s lowest-scoring eight-game stretch with the Bulls, he scored 70 points – 24 more than in his current stint.


Free throws

Part of the reason Gordon earned a reputation as a top-end scorer with the Bulls was his ability to get to the free-throw line. That hasn’t happened lately.

Sure, Gordon is still shooting a high percentage from the charity stripe – 1-for-1! – if you want to be extremely generous.

Of course, making one free-throw in eight games is a career-worst for Gordon.

Free throws made

So is attempting only one.

Free throw attempts

Points per 36 minutes

I know many of you think it’s unfair to criticize Gordon when he gets reduced playing time. I say to that, the way he’s played lately, he doesn’t deserve big minutes. But I’ll play along.

In his last eight games, Gordon is averaging 11.91 points per 36 minutes. That’s actually only his seventh-worst eight-game stretch. Bad, but it could be worse.

All six of Gordon’s worse points-per-36-minutes stretches occurred in overlapping stints in December.

Points per 36 minutes


After leaving the Bulls for the Pistons, Ben Gordon has lowered the standard for his minimum production. Somehow, he’s lowering it even further now.

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