Aaron Gordon’s All-Star Case

Aaron Gordon

With the return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. and the continued dominance of 2-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Denver Nuggets are the top team in the West. What is surprising, however, are the contributions of Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon that have led to Denver’s success. Let’s take a closer look at why AG might deserve another trip to the ASG. 


Big Fish, Big Pond

The Nuggets have a deep roster riddled with talent. No words need to be said about Nikola Jokic, he’s not just All-Star he’s All-Time. Jamal Murray is an All-Star player, and though MPJ has not fully lived up to his expectations, he’s another vital part of the team. 

Aaron Gordon, this season, is as important to the Nuggets as any member of the team. He’s having his best season in Denver, averaging 16.8 points and 6.8 boards. Gordon is also carrying his best-ever shooting percentage at nearly 58%.  His PER rating for the season is 20.3, while his career is 15.6. 

Not only are his individual stats good, but they are good for the team. The Nuggets are 17-4 when Gordon has 3 or more assists. 3 assists might not feel like much, but that extra boost for the offense is vital, especially when Jokic isn’t on the floor. 


The Wow Factor

One of the criticisms of Nikola Jokics game is that it doesn’t have the proverbial and ultimately subjective “Wow Factor”. Unseasoned basketball fans don’t really understand the depth of what Jokic is doing as much as they would LeBron or MJ. AG does not have that problem. 

On Christmas Day against the Suns, Aaron Gordon threw down an overtime poster slam that broke the internet. Calwell-Pope grabbed a rebound after a missed suns 3 and made a nifty hand-off pass to Gordon who rocketed up the court and took flight a million feet from the rim, embarrassing and posterizing Landry Shamet in the process. Probably the best dunk ever on Christmas Day, possibly the best dunk of this season. 

Gordon is no stranger to getting up and throwing it down. He’s 5th in the NBA in dunks this season, sitting only 2 dunks behind Giannis Antetokounmpo in 1st place. The percentage of his two-point shots that are dunks, however, is quite low compared to his numbers, sitting at 27%. He’s still carrying his best shooting percentage ever, proving that he’s not just a one-dimensional dunking machine. His defense is also key for Denver, who have struggled at times to keep teams from scoring.

Gordon has been lights out for the Nuggets this season. He is the perfect complement to players like Jokic and Murray, and he is also a star in his own right. When the backups are announced on February 2nd, Gordon’s name should not be left out.


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