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The impact of Aaron Gordon on Denver Nuggets' recent run | NBA Season 2020-21

Aaron Gordon of the Denver Nuggets
Aaron Gordon of the Denver Nuggets
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 05 Apr 2021
Feature

The Denver Nuggets acquired Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic camp in what was an NBA deadline day deal. As other franchises sought to improve the quality and depth of their rosters, the Nuggets followed suit with an exceptional signing.

The 25-year-old started his career with the Orlando Magic in the 2014 season and has dazzled with jaw-dropping performances. Gordon's best run as an NBA player came in the 2017-18 season, where he averaged 17.62 PPG.

Although he has not displayed MVP-worthy performances yet, he was instrumental in Orlando's success thus far. His trade to the Denver Nuggets is a clear indication that there are better things lined up for the forward.

Aaron Gordon's partnership with the Denver Nuggets star players

It would be unfair to either of the two star players in the Denver Nuggets team if one is picked above the other. However, the numbers show that Nikola "The Joker" Jokic has been more impressive on the court. On a night where Jokic can't find his magic, you can always count on Jamal Murray to step up.

Amazingly, Jokic leads the Nuggets in PPG, RPG, APG, Field goal percentage, and SPG. The combination of Jokic and Gordon against the Orlando Magic on April 4 was superb as the duo led the team to a second-half comeback and ultimately a win.

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets were down by 18 at the end of the first half. However, the team was quick to turn things around in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Of the 16 assists given by Jokic, 12 came in the second half of the game. Gordon, who led the team with 24 points, benefited from 6 pin-point passes from The Joker.

So far, the communication between both players is exemplary. It is worth noting that there is room for growth. Aaron Gordon's impact has also been felt since his arrival, averaging 14.25 PPG, 2.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 4.8 RPG, and 1 BPG.

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Aaron Gordon's role in the Denver Nuggets team

Gordon's athleticism was never fully utilized by the Orlando Magic. He was a make-shift ball-handler, which led to him making fewer dunks during games. It is ironic because Aaron Gordon has scored more 50s in the Slam Dunk Contest than any other player in the history of the contest.

It can be argued that Aaron Gordon was brought in mainly because of his defensive prowess. However, there is no taking away what he can do in the opposition paint. The Denver Nuggets have struggled to keep up with small forwards, which has been the reason for most of their losses.

With Jokic's excellent passing abilities, Aaron Gordon is being spoon-fed easy dunks and layups. Gordon's new role has him making cuts to the rim and finishing near the hoop. It is a system of play he is not used to but can become deadly at overtime.

It's just a matter of time before we see Gordon averaging over 20 points per game with the Denver Nuggets. Currently, the offense with Gordon records 125 points per 100 possessions. No offense in NBA history has scored that many points with 100 possessions throughout a season.

The introduction of Aaron Gordon could help the Denver Nuggets achieve a deeper run in the NBA postseason. With him on the court, the team has operated like a well-oiled machine, both in offense and defense. This relatively young Denver Nuggets team is one to look out for in the near future.

Published 05 Apr 2021, 22:57 IST
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