Tag Archives: Orlando Magic

What Aaron Gordon Brings to Nuggets

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After a beat-down in Toronto, the Denver Nuggets decided to make a splash at the deadline. Bringing in much-needed athleticism and defense.

The Denver Nuggets just put themselves above the rim by trading some good pieces to elevate this squad in Aaron Gordon after their biggest loss of the season. In a year that has seen 25 Joker Jams, Blue Arrow elevating more than usual, and MPJ finally putting fear into opponents when he enters the paint. The Nuggets decided they needed to raise the elevation despite already being a mile above sea level. Ok, I promise to keep the heights of my analogies to a minimum from here on out.

The seriousness of this trade needs to be discussed after all. Aaron Gordon immediately becomes the most athletic player on a roster that already includes the above 3 freaks. Not to mention the ones buried on the bench, Gordon’s Dunk contest snubs are those of lore. Seriously though D-Wade, how do you give a 9 when the dude cleared Tacko Fall? But none of that matters now, and I am positive Gordon will never care about these moments if he can get to a Chip.

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If you can’t tell by now, I am extremely pumped about this move. Even with the fact that the Nuggets had to give up a lot of young talent in RJ Hampton and a future 1st-round pick, and the perimeter defense of Gary Harris. But what they get in return with Aaron Gordon and Gary Clark is what you do when you have a top-3 of Jokic/Murray/Porter Jr. It’s wonderful when you are in a market rife with pro-sports front-office dysfunction. To see one that gets it when they have a chance and actually go for it is almost therapeutic.

I can give you the numbers, but they will not do Gordon justice in what he brings to this team. And I know some will say Denver may have given up too much. I just can’t get on that boat. A 1st-rounder 4 years from now, a decent back-up, and a high-ceiling youngster is about par for this type of talent. Gordon’s slash of 14.6 pts/4.2 ast/6.6 rebs will undoubtedly go up on a roster where no-one can double team. He is no longer the feature, he gets to breathe and just ball. The NBA should be worried no matter where Gordon is slotted between the 3-4. It’s 2020 people, who cares what “number” you put next to their position? Just put your best 5 out there and in the best position to succeed.

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The length and athleticism of this roster, and especially the starting 5 is astonishing with the JaVale McGee trade adding even more depth to the Land O’ Giants lineup the Nuggets can employ. With a Gordon/Milsap/Jokic/Murray/Porter Jr. starting lineup, you have 4-out-of-5 starters that are 6’7″ or taller. And every one of those guys can put it down as well as hit enough from 3 to scare anyone. Outside of both L.A. squads, I don’t see another roster that can match that size/speed/athleticism. And both those rosters have to be fully healthy, something Denver is finally getting to themselves.

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I haven’t even mentioned the all-NBA type defense Gordon is capable of that should infuse energy into that side of the ball we haven’t seen from this team. He’s also a great mentor for MPJ as they are almost identical in body type, but opposite in-game. While MPJ has the sweet-stroke to knock down 3’s with ease, Gordon is a physical banger than loves to take it to the rim. The complement is pure synergy and should elevate both to new levels.

Tomorrow in New Orleans will be a must-see with Zion and company being the first test of this newly tinkered chemistry. I foresee an impressive display of elite athleticism that could become an instant classic with more posters than can be fiscally printed. They better reinforce the rims at the Smoothie King Center, the rafters will shake.

Denver Nuggets Rebound With 6th Straight Road Win

Basketball: Denver Nuggets Jamal Murray (27) in action vs Los Angeles Lakers at Ball Arena. 
Denver, CO 2/14/2021
CREDIT: Jamie Schwaberow (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X163529 TK1)

The Denver Nuggets and Orlando Started off slow with heavy hearts, with the Magic jumping to a 4-0 lead. Then the Dynamic Duo and their potential triplet took-over.

The 1st quarter saw the Denver Nuggets come out flat with sloppy play and bad shooting. Only the players can tell you if heavy hearts had anything to do with it. No one could blame them if it did. Will Barton missed the first two Nugget shots on wide-open 3’s that allowed Orlando to get out to a 4-0 lead within the first 2 minutes of action. Then Denver found another gear on defense and the offensive glass. They would allow a total of 11 points the rest of the quarter and scored 30 of their own. While not allowing a single bench point to the Orlando Magic.

You got a Joker Jam (kinda) and a Blue Arrow up and under beauty. As well as a redemption 3 by Will the Thrill in the corner with no Magic within 15 feet of him. Michael Porter Jr. showed he understood the rebounding deficiency from the New Orleans game Sunday night as he was uber active on both ends of the floor. He is starting to show the strength and length that so many coveted and helped the Nuggets double-up the Magic 30-15 at the end of 1. Every Denver Nugget player starter and bench had a positive +/-. The Magic on the other hand had nothing but negative ratings.

Here’s that (kinda) Joker Jam courtesy of the Denver Nuggets Social Team:

If you thought the 1st quarter was bad for Magic Fans, it only got worse. The Denver Nuggets were actually able to grow that lead as they entered the half up 63-39. Of those 63 points, 42 came in the paint. That’s a good number if I do say so myself. A stark contrast from the New Orleans contest Sunday where they were absolutely dominated in the paint and at the glass by Zion Williamson and Steven Adams. But this is a Magic team that came in with an injured list containing 5 players. Including one of their best in Mo Bamba. And unlike that Sunday matinee, the Nuggets out-rebounded the Magic 26-17 in the first half.

The Nuggets ended the first half shooting 56% from the field, 30.8% from 3, and 50% from the line. As opposed to the Magic at 36.6%/37.5%/75% respectively. Both defenses were disciplined though as only 4 free throws total were shot, and none came until less than a minute left in the half. Jokic, Murray, and Will Barton all ended the half in double-digits. With MPJ close behind with 8. Jokic continues his triple-double threats with 17 pts/6 assists/5 rebounds entering intermission.

Here are some of those impressive halftime stats courtesy of the Denver Nuggets Social Team:

The 3rd-quarter saw the Orlando Magic find some life and give the small home-crowd something to cheer for. As they were able to cause havoc to Denver’s offense causing 6 turnovers in the quarter after Denver only committed 4 in the entire first half. They were able to close that 24-point deficit at half down to 7-points before the end of the 3rd. This had a lot to do with closing the rebounding gap from the first half that had Denver +9. Orlando was able to dwindle this down to Denver +7. This is the key to the Nuggets’ success, defense, and rebounding. If they can keep the energy up on D and on the glass, not a team in the league can stop their offense.

The 4th-quarter started as sloppy as the 3rd with the Magic keeping their energy. Clawing to within 5 points before Blue Arrow took over with 10 minutes left, hitting a ridiculous fade-away 3 with two defenders in his face, yes that is the right number key pressed. He then passed the torch to Nikola with about 5 minutes to go. Where Joker would go on to commit Nikola on Nikola crime as seen below, and putting up yet another triple-double with a slash of 28 pts/10 assists/15 rebounds.

Here is that felony committed on the floor courtesy of the Denver Nuggets Social Team:

You saw an up-and-down performance from a Nuggets team that showed why Jokic and Murray bristle when people try to say they are the only ones that matter. That 28 points by Joker was a team-high. There was no Blue Arrow 50-burgers tonight. What you got was a true team win. Murray scored 21, Michael Porter Jr. came up 3 rebounds short of a double-double (18 pts/7 rebs), and P.J. Dozier chipped in 14 points off the bench plus 6 rebounds and 2 assists to boot. You saw every Nugget end the night with no less than a 0 +/- rating (Zeke Nnaji 6 pts/5 rebs). We also had Facundo Campazzo put in another workmanlike performance on his birthday where he also had an arena back home named after him. Facundo put in a +9 rating, 6 assists, and 2 steals.

It wasn’t all roses for Mile High Basketball, nor all sour-grapes for Orlando. Evan Fournier was a huge part of the Magic staying competitive with a game-high 31 points. Al-Farouq Aminu put up a double-double (17 pts/10 rebs). But unfortunately for them, they were the only Magic player to touch the ball that had a positive rating (which was the entire active roster). In the end, you simply saw what it means to have superior talent up and down the roster. Also why the modern game has squeed to the trey. The Nuggets just hit a gear with 5 minutes to go in the 4th that the Orlando Magic couldn’t match. Which lead to the final score of 110-99. Now it’s on to the second half of a back-back for Denver against Toronto on Wednesday.

Up Next:

@Toronto Raptors, Wednesday, March 25, 2021 at 5:30 PM MST

Where to watch:

Denver Market: Altitude TV/Altitude Radio 92.5 FM

Toronto Market: Toronto Sports Network