At the beginning of the season, the Orlando Magic’s head coach Steve Clifford had a goal for his 23-year-old star Aaron Gordon (pictured above). To round out his game and make the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
It’s a big task, but the big fella sure has accepted the challenge and is making the Magic a whole lot better. Although, there are several other high-ranking defenders across the league who are doing the same. Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard and Myles Turner to name a few.
But Gordon throughout this year continues to show the rest of the league that his improvement on defense shouldn’t be overlooked. And he’s done it by slowing down some of the league’s elite players like LeBron James, Ben Simmons, and Kevin Durant. You can add Blake Griffin to that list from last nights win against the Detroit Pistons. Griffin is having a stellar year and is a surefire to become an All-Star. But he could not break down or push around Gordon. Blake finished with just 15 points on 4-for-10 shooting. More impressively, he had just two rebounds.
Gordon is fulfilling his promise to become a two-way player. The Magic’s versatile forward slows down players with his lateral quickness, low-post resistance, and superb timing. He may not be the one starring for the team — like he did in the Slam Dunk contest back in 2016 — but he has found his role and found a way to star on his own.
Side Note: Happy New Year you lazies, and on to 2019!
Catch you Thursday.