2 key adjustments by Michael Malone that have swung the series in the Nuggets' favor

Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Three
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Three / David Berding/GettyImages
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Adjustment #1: Point Gordon

One of the most unstoppable sets in the NBA over the last couple of years has been the Jamal Murray/Nikola Jokic pick-and-roll. Teams have been unable to solve this two-man game and when they send a defender to help or someone steps up, Aaron Gordon is sitting in the dunker spot waiting to catch a backbreaking alley-oop.

But in games 1 & 2 the Timberwolves were able to solve this problem as well as anyone has. They smothered Murray with size and athleticism, preventing him from getting set up. This also allowed Rudy Gobert to sit back and roam, protecting the rim and taking away the finishes by Gordon.

Gordon was a borderline non-factor in the first two games and the Nuggets’ offense was sputtering. But Malone made the adjustment to get Gordon more involved. He has been bringing the ball up to initiate the offense, or acting as a screener. He’s barely spending any time in the dunker spot and is instead out on the perimeter.

This has gotten Gordon going offensively in a big way, as he’s now flying around making plays and even hitting jump shots. It has also allowed Murray to play off the ball and get open in that way instead of dealing with the suffocating Wolves defenders. 

And perhaps most importantly, this has dragged Gobert away from the rim. He’s no longer able to sit back and protect the rim, he now has to come out and try to defend on the perimeter or try to guard Jokic one-on-one.

Both of those tactics have been disastrous for Minnesota and as a result, the Nuggets offense is humming again. Gordon has been a massive part of the offensive resurgence and has looked like one of the best players on the floor in the last three games.