Denver Nuggets: 3 Unique ways Aaron Gordon has become a championship x-factor

The Denver Nuggets appear to be headed for another Western Conference Finals appearance and Aaron Gordon is one of the biggest reasons why.
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Three
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Three / David Berding/GettyImages
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Aaron Gordon's playmaking

Another area in which Gordon has shined this postseason is playmaking. In his last three seasons with the Nuggets, he has had an assist rate of just 13.6%. However, this mark has jumped to 18.5% in this year’s playoffs.

To be clear, this is not a very strong mark. That level of passing volume is nothing to write home about. However it is nice to see him generate offense for his teammates more often and while he isn’t generating a ton of assists, he’s been quite efficient as a passer. This playoffs, he has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.1 and an assist rate-to-usage rate ratio of 1.1.

If you’ve never heard of these metrics, you might be extremely confused. Basically, these stats are telling us that although Gordon isn’t a high-volume passer like Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, or Tyrese Haliburton, he makes up for this by limiting turnovers and he generates a good number of assists considering he doesn’t have a huge offensive load.

His elite scoring efficiency and improved playmaking are why he has an individual offensive rating of 135 in the postseason. It’s also why the Nuggets have been able to survive despite their starting point guard facing a cold streak.