Newcomer Aaron Gordon not hunting offense in wake of Nuggets’ injuries: “It’s on all of us” – The Denver Post
In the earliest days of the Aaron Gordon experiment, Nuggets coach Michael Malone credited his new wing for not forcing any offense in an effort to prove his credentials.
Sixteen games later, even though Denver’s circumstances have changed dramatically, Malone still doesn’t want Gordon to change his approach.
“He needs to play within the offense,” Malone said prior to Wednesday’s game against New Orleans. “We have one of the best offenses in the NBA. We can find ways to get him more involved. I think we as a team, when guys start hunting their shots, we’re not at our best.
“… We’re a ball movement, player movement team and guys will benefit from that,” Malone said. “That’s how you get easier looks. When he has the ball, he can look to be more aggressive, no doubt. I don’t want anybody out there hunting shots.”
In 25 games with the Magic, Gordon averaged 14.6 points on 11.7 shots per game. Since coming to Denver, Gordon’s posted 11.2 points on 8.4 looks per game, though his efficiency (52.6%) is way up.
Jamal Murray’s season-ending ACL tear coupled with Will Barton’s recent hamstring strain have vaulted Gordon up the offensive depth chart. Two of Gordon’s best games in Denver have come since Barton got hurt last Friday at Golden State. In both games, he was active on the glass and confident from 3-point range.
But after Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr., it could just as easily be P.J. Dozier or Facu Campazzo’s night as it could be Gordon’s.
Not that Gordon is going to do anything out of character.
“Will’s injury means a lot to all of us,” Gordon said. “Instant offense, all over the floor. … It’s not just me that has to step up and pick up the points for Jamal and Will. It’s going to come collectively. I’m gonna pick my spots. I think the two-man game with Nikola and myself, there’s going to be more usage in that. But other than that, it’s just collective. It’s on all of us.”
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