Film Room: Aaron Gordon Becoming More Complete Player

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO – What will it take for Aaron Gordon, arguably one of the five most athletic players in the entire league, to transform into an All-Star caliber player?

As Steve Clifford suggested throughout training camp and the early portion of the preseason, the first, and maybe most important, thing for the 23-year-old is to fully capitalize on his defensive capabilities. He’s long, slides his feet well and has really good instincts. When matched up against a former NBA center, Anderson Varejao, AG showed he’s much stronger now, too.


With the exception of Giannis Antetokounmpo, no power forward in the NBA right now is more dynamic and explosive in the open floor than Gordon, especially when he leaks out in transition.

What makes the 2014 first round draft pick so unique, though, is that he can initiate a fast break just as well as finish one.


Jaw-dropping dunks – like the one featured below – need to happen regularly because when they do it typically suggests the Magic are playing with good energy and pace.


Where Gordon really must improve is in his ball handling and body control. Iso ball, while occasionally useful when matched up against a poor, or simply slow, defender, can cause a team to be stagnant.

On the other hand, being more attentive and playing with the pass generally leads to a more efficient offense.


The outside shot is coming along for the San Jose, Calif. native, who made three of his four 3-point attempts on Friday. A much better spot-up shooter from long distance (38.4 percent) than when he pulled up (21.7 percent) last season, Gordon continues to work hard on his balance and form.



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