3 tweaks Michael Malone and Nuggets should make in game 2 to keep edge over Lakers

San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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1. Play Aaron Gordon at backup center

Luckily, Nikola Jokic was able to play almost 40 minutes in game one so there weren’t a lot of backup center minutes, but those 8+ minutes going to DeAndre Jordan was a bit of a surprise. Perhaps that was the idea all along, as Jordan provides a ton of size against a giant Lakers team.

But it may also have been partly because Aaron Gordon got in early foul trouble. I’m not shocked that the smaller Zeke Nnaji didn’t get backup center minutes, but even against the Lakers, I’d like to see Gordon get the backup center minutes over Jordan in most situations.

The Nuggets obviously busted this move out last year in the playoffs to great success and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until we see it again. The small ball look mucks up the bench minutes and gives the Nuggets a totally different look to throw at the Lakers for a few minutes in each half.

I’d like to see them give it a try in game two and see if they can shift the pace in their favor and steal a few minutes while Jokic gets a rest in game 2. Jordan held his own and played surprisingly well, but the team shouldn’t be relying on that in the playoffs.