Aaron Gordon was Denver Nuggets’ unsung hero in their championship run

Denver Nuggets Aaron Gordon (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Nuggets Aaron Gordon (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

Aaron Gordon was an unsung hero for the Miami Heat in their championship run. 

Defeating the Miami Heat 94-89 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Denver Nuggets captured their first-ever NBA championship in franchise history.

The praise of the media was mostly on Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, deservingly so. But while Murray and Jokic were great, Aaron Gordon is one of the true unsung heroes for the Nuggets and their championship run.

Aaron Gordon’s journey to the Denver Nuggets

Gordon had spent his first six and a half years in the NBA as a highly-touted prospect with the Orlando Magic. So when he was eventually traded to the Denver Nuggets, many were curious about what his role would be like.

Gordon has transformed his game into one that compliments Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets so well. And this playoffs specifically, he showed his value more than ever.

During the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Gordon averaged 13 points per game, and he was at the center of absolutely everything the Nuggs did.

Offensively, Gordon is the connector piece for the Nuggets. He’s always in the right spots to finish a play with his unbelievable athleticism, he can grab a crucial offensive rebound, or even make plays out of the short roll finding open shooters. Rarely does Gordon make the wrong decision.

He’s one of Jokic’s favorite targets and the two complement each other so well. Gordon’s insane finishing ability around the rim, with Nikola’s incredible vision and IQ, was a perfect match all season long.

Gordon came up with a few huge offensive performances these playoffs as well. Against the Lakers in the WCF, he helped close them out with 22 points. In Game 1 of the NBA Finals against Miami, he set the tone by bullying smaller guys near the rim in the first quarter, which really sent the Heat a message. And in Game 4 against Miami, he added 27 points, in the game that ultimately decided the series.

Defensively though during the playoffs, Gordon was even more important. In round 1 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he played admirable defense on a red-hot Anthony Edwards. In Round 2 against the Phoenix Suns, he held Kevin Durant to subpar efficiency, which really was the key to that series. In the WCF, he did about as good of a job as you can against LeBron James.

Lastly, in the Finals against Miami, he mitigated the usual heroics of Jimmy Butler and virtually shut him down all series. Something that nobody can confidently say they’ve done these playoffs.

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Aaron Gordon did his thing in every aspect of the game for the Denver Nuggets. And when we look back on this 2023 NBA championship, we should remember the incredible role he played in it.