It’s no secret that the Denver Nuggets carry one of the deadliest rotations in basketball. Nikola Jokic is coming off his second consecutive league MVP and best statistical campaign to date. Michael Porter Jr. has already proven to be one of the best triple-threat scorers in the NBA, and Jamal Murray was posting career-highs in points (21.2), assists (4.8), steals (1.3), field goal percentage (48), and three-point percentage (41) when we last saw him play in full capacity.
Although, with such a lethal big three and the recent emergence of VCU product Bones Hyland, it can be easy to forget about the importance of Aaron Gordon. Who isn’t just the fifth highest-paid player on the Denver Nuggets roster but also one integral to the franchise’s championship aspirations.
When MPJ was shut down just nine games into the 2021-22 NBA season, it was unknown who would step in to make up for such a significant loss. While Hyland showed flashes of offensive brilliance, it was Aaron Gordon who ended as the team’s second-leading scorer (15.0) and most impactful defender.
Gordon found himself thrust into a situation where he was relied on to be the team’s No. 2 scoring option behind Jokic, a role he’s not exactly accustomed to. What was most impressive, however, was how he handled a high-volume scoring load and combined it with a team-leading defense. Posting a career-high true shooting percentage (60.2) and effective field goal percentage (57.3).
Despite finishing the year as the team’s second-leading scorer, second-leading rebound-getter, and most reliable on-ball defender, it’s the names mentioned above that appear to be getting all of the media attention.
Nevertheless, with every new NBA season comes a new set of expectations for the Denver Nuggets, as well as Aaron Gordon. Taking this into account, here are some individual goals Gordon should strive to achieve this season.