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Why Aaron Gordon is “seeing the game differently”

Mike Singer
The Denver Post
Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon hangs from the rim after dunking the ball for a basket against the Houston Rockets in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 4, 2022, in Denver.
David Zalubowski/AP

As soon as Nikola Jokic gobbles up a defensive rebound, Aaron Gordon knows the assignment.

While Jokic ambles up the floor, surveying the landscape for an advantage, oftentimes the most effective offense is when Gordon plants himself deep in the paint and waits for the delivery. As soon as he seals his man, it’s almost always game over.

Calling it a happy accident isn’t giving the Nuggets’ front office enough credit for last season’s blockbuster trade to obtain Gordon, but deeming it a foregone conclusion might be too much praise. The Gordon-Jokic pairing has been seamless. Their shared dynamic represents the biggest reason the Nuggets have been able to stay afloat during this COVID-crunched, injury-marred season.



With Jokic conducting, Gordon is enjoying his most efficient NBA season by far. At nearly 52% shooting from the field, Gordon’s lapping his previous-best (44.9%) showing from a full season in Orlando. On two-point field goals, he’s shooting a career-best 60%. The majority of his scoring is done in the paint (7.7 points per game this season), but there’s still a more glaring number within his offensive profile.

More than 61% of his field goals have been assisted this season, which is about a 10 percent jump from his high mark in Orlando. On average, Jokic throws more passes to Monte Morris and Will Barton per game, but no one capitalizes on those helpers more than Gordon. A quarter of Jokic’s 7.9 assists per game go to Gordon, the highest mark on the team.



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