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Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run

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Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#1 » by Knightro » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:22 pm

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Exclusive: Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run

Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic are coming off a banner season. The Magic made the playoffs for the first time in nine years, and Gordon’s 16.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game were undoubtedly big reasons why.

This summer, Gordon has spent a lot of time working out and traveled to China for a Jr. NBA event. But today, he is back in Orlando.

“It’s my home now,” Gordon told Amico Hoops during a phone interview.

Gordon, 23, is 6-foot-9 and capable of playing either forward position. He really has come into his own, rising to the level of some All-Stars. Last season, he averaged 16.8 points and 7.6 rebounds during the regular season (78 games).

Still, Gordon isn’t satisfied.

“I definitely want to be better in the post, just with my footwork,” he said. “Continue to make better decisions on the floor, handle the ball really well, just do better than we did last year. Advance, get a series win in the playoffs.”

Gordon is also aiming to continue expanding his range from the perimeter.

“Hopefully one day (I will) be in the three-point contest,” he said. “Just one day at a time, one game at a time, one shot at a time.”

Read more: http://amicohoops.net/exclusive-gordon-keeps-grinding-looks-to-build-on-magics-run/ (free)
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#2 » by spinedoc » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:32 pm

Articles like this help me with my patience. He really is a good kid, I hope he can improve. It will be on him if he wants to stay, he's going to have to find a niche to help this team and be indispensable. I still have my doubts, but he also gets a bit more rope from me as well. I like the fact that he is working on it, no attitude and no entitlement to him. Post moves can be taught, footwork and the like. I'm more skeptical about increasing his range though, keep shooting in the gym brother, we'll see. :D
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#3 » by The Real Dalic » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:17 pm

This is why winning and experiencing the playoffs is important to a young guy. You can tell that AG out of everybody loved his experience in the playoffs and he really wants to get back.

It's also why I would only trade him for an established star because I believe he is the hardest worker on the team. So glad to know he's wroking on his post-game and ball-handling in particular. Can't wait for this season to start.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#4 » by fendilim » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:41 pm

Yeah. He really need to work on his post game.

Is he training with any notable players? Kobe?

Team usa snub should motivate him.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#5 » by ezzzp » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:58 pm

I'm not sure I like that he's emphasizing working on his "post game."

Do we really need more volume at that low value shot? and by a guy who has shot it poorly?

In the past, those are the shots by him that consistently killed our ball movement and were key factor in AG's poor efficiency. I died a little every time he ground the offense to a halt to back down his guy only to jack up a turn around fade away.

Last season, those post-ups accounted for 13% of AG's FGA's. He shot them at .420 eFG% or 0.84 Point Per Possession...ranking him at the bottom 30th percentile of the entire NBA in that play.

I'm of the mindset that if Gordon dramatically cut down his post game, the Magic offense would be more dynamic and efficient. 84% of the possessions he posted up on, resulted in him taking a shot...meaning it was a rarity when he passed the ball out once he got it there.

I find it hard to believe that the FO/coaching staff asked him to work on taking more shots from that low value zone. Maybe they think he's closer to KD/Paul George type forward that can score efficiently in that situation. Or maybe that's just what he wants to work on and not what they advised him to do.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#6 » by Bensational » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:45 pm

ezzzp wrote:I'm not sure I like that he's emphasizing working on his "post game."

Do we really need more volume at that low value shot? and by a guy who has shot it poorly?

In the past, those are the shots by him that consistently killed our ball movement and were key factor in AG's poor efficiency. I died a little every time he ground the offense to a halt to back down his guy only to jack up a turn around fade away.

Last season, those post-ups accounted for 13% of AG's FGA's. He shot them at .420 eFG% or 0.84 Point Per Possession...ranking him at the bottom 30th percentile of the entire NBA in that play.

I'm of the mindset that if Gordon dramatically cut down his post game, the Magic offense would be more dynamic and efficient. 84% of the possessions he posted up on, resulted in him taking a shot...meaning it was a rarity when he passed the ball out once he got it there.

I find it hard to believe that the FO/coaching staff asked him to work on taking more shots from that low value zone. Maybe they think he's closer to KD/Paul George type forward that can score efficiently in that situation. Or maybe that's just what he wants to work on and not what they advised him to do.


I don't think it's a bad thing for him to be working on. We didn't have any strong post up options on the team, Vuc included (ranked in the 50th percentile - which is only because his FTrate is so low on those shots, it drags his PPP down), so we need someone who can get us buckets in that range once in a while just to be able to catch defenses off guard.

What I hope he means about getting better in the post is that he's talking about the high post and more mid-range jumpers around there and the elbow. That was what I felt he learned the most from playing against Kawhi in that series, was seeing just how he gets his shots and where he chooses to get them. AG was actually working to get some really nice, patient, deliberate shots from his post work in the high post, and he was hitting those pull ups at a high percentage in the playoffs. That's a playoff shot, so I don't mind if he, Vuc, Ross, Fournier, whoever all start to work on having a couple of shots they're good with in that range, because it showed we lacked that element last season.

But if it's his post-up game specifically that he's working on, still doesn't seem like a bad thing. I can't imagine he's neglecting the rest of his game just for that. Even if he do enough just to claw that shot back into respectability a bit more.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#7 » by MagicMatic » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:08 am

I would much rather AG be utilizing his athleticism, rather than focusing on becoming a post player next to Vuc. If Orlando is going to have Vuc take 17-19 fga per game, it would be way more beneficial for AG to be working on attacking the basket and stretching the floor. It’s not a “bad” thing that he’s working on his post game, but it doesn’t necessarily help floor spacing or utilize or lack of getting to the line and penetration for kick outs.

I’m glad he’s aspiring to become a better 3 point shooter and handle the ball though... those are definitely abilities Orlando consistently lacks from the rest of the starting lineup.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#8 » by ezzzp » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:22 am

Bensational wrote:I don't think it's a bad thing for him to be working on. We didn't have any strong post up options on the team, Vuc included (ranked in the 50th percentile - which is only because his FTrate is so low on those shots, it drags his PPP down), so we need someone who can get us buckets in that range once in a while just to be able to catch defenses off guard.

What I hope he means about getting better in the post is that he's talking about the high post and more mid-range jumpers around there and the elbow. That was what I felt he learned the most from playing against Kawhi in that series, was seeing just how he gets his shots and where he chooses to get them. AG was actually working to get some really nice, patient, deliberate shots from his post work in the high post, and he was hitting those pull ups at a high percentage in the playoffs. That's a playoff shot, so I don't mind if he, Vuc, Ross, Fournier, whoever all start to work on having a couple of shots they're good with in that range, because it showed we lacked that element last season.

But if it's his post-up game specifically that he's working on, still doesn't seem like a bad thing. I can't imagine he's neglecting the rest of his game just for that. Even if he do enough just to claw that shot back into respectability a bit more.


Nah, Vucevic shot an excellent .494 FG% from Post Ups and was ranked 7th in entire NBA for PPG in the post.

The main reason that Vucevic is ranked in the 50th percentile has to do with volume impacting rank. Daniel Theis is ranked in the top 99th percentile of NBA because he only posted up 13 times. Meanwhile Kawhi Leonard was in the 60th percentile...and the best post up big in the NBA, Joel Embiid, was only ranked in the 78th percentile.

You have to look at efficiency and volume to contextualize the rank...Joel Embiid shot .501 FG% (518 poss), Kawhi .481 FG% (134 poss), Vucevic .494 FG% (434 poss) ...Aaron Gordon .420 FG% (173 poss). Its not even close...Aaron Gordon was not good in that play.

Toronto was ecstatic to give him room, especially in the mid range. They were ok with it as long as they could hedge/cheat off him in order to shut down any Vucevic - DJ/Fournier PnR action. Gordon converted them, making 6-11 mid rangers, but that's hardly an indicator...here is Aaron Gordon from mid-range in past 4 years:

23: 58-176 (.333 FG%)
22: 52-157 (.331 FG%)
21: 69-191 (.391 FG%)
20: 32-101 (.317 FG%)

It's not even remotely close to Kawhi's mid range shooting - not even when Kawhi was at similar age:

23: 131-296 (.443 FG%)
22: 79-174 (.454 FG%)
21: 56-116 (.483 FG%)
20: 27-73 (.370 FG%)

At a certain point its about the team winning games, as opposed to letting Gordon practice shots he hasn't been able to make. I would much rather he focus on maximizing the shots he can make. Let Ross and Fournier shoot those mid rangers when needed, they're much better at it than he is.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#9 » by ezzzp » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:35 am

MagicMatic wrote:I would much rather AG be utilizing his athleticism, rather than focusing on becoming a post player next to Vuc. If Orlando is going to have Vuc take 17-19 fga per game, it would be way more beneficial for AG to be working on attacking the basket and stretching the floor. It’s not a “bad” thing that he’s working on his post game, but it doesn’t necessarily help floor spacing or utilize or lack of getting to the line and penetration for kick outs.

I’m glad he’s aspiring to become a better 3 point shooter and handle the ball though... those are definitely abilities Orlando consistently lacks from the rest of the starting lineup.


Totally agree...AG needs to be improving his off ball movement IQ...making better reads on cuts and putting himself in more PnR's were he's the roller and attacking that rim. He should also work on his off-screen shooting. Those are areas where he can use that elite athleticism in the half court.

Backing down guys in post and settling for mid rangers / turn around fade aways just lets defenders off the hook...not to mention just drags down Magic pace and ball movement.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#10 » by MagicMatic » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:43 am

ezzzp wrote:
MagicMatic wrote:I would much rather AG be utilizing his athleticism, rather than focusing on becoming a post player next to Vuc. If Orlando is going to have Vuc take 17-19 fga per game, it would be way more beneficial for AG to be working on attacking the basket and stretching the floor. It’s not a “bad” thing that he’s working on his post game, but it doesn’t necessarily help floor spacing or utilize or lack of getting to the line and penetration for kick outs.

I’m glad he’s aspiring to become a better 3 point shooter and handle the ball though... those are definitely abilities Orlando consistently lacks from the rest of the starting lineup.


Totally agree...AG needs to be improving his off ball movement IQ...making better reads on cuts and putting himself in more PnR's were he's the roller and attacking that rim. He should also work on his off-screen shooting. Those are areas where he can use that elite athleticism in the half court.

Backing down guys in post and settling for mid rangers / turn around fade aways just lets defenders off the hook...not to mention just drags down Magic pace and ball movement.


We agree on something? I think hell just froze over.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#11 » by woosah » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:20 am

dang Amico y u no fact check? 7 years, not 9!
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#12 » by j-ragg » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:31 pm

Well we play 3 big guys in our starting lineup. At least one should always have a physical mismatch. Isaac should be working on it too.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#13 » by NotACat » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:36 pm

If you watched the playoffs, you should know how critical it is to have a wing who can score in the post. It will win you games, it creates opportunities when the game shows down and defense gets tougher, it is basically necessary to win a title.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#14 » by MagicStarwipe » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:04 pm

Hopefully our guards are working on finding him for easier looks.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#15 » by yoyojw17 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:58 pm

NotACat wrote:If you watched the playoffs, you should know how critical it is to have a wing who can score in the post. It will win you games, it creates opportunities when the game shows down and defense gets tougher, it is basically necessary to win a title.

It will also get you to the line when there is a switch with a smaller player. If you got a PG on your hip from 3-8 ft out.... you better give him the business. Makes them think twice about switching.... gets him to the line more.... diversifies the offense. the more options the better. It's not like he's taking away from his practicing of 3's etc... it's in addition to. I've always said that he should develop a solid post game... as that a long with cuts to the rim, fast breaks, 3's and foul shots.... he would be well balancedand still have a chance to be a near 20pnt scorer off of those alone. Gotta get his all around efficiency up.

needless to say... gotta love the kid.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#16 » by Bakomagic » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:40 pm

MagicMatic wrote:
ezzzp wrote:
MagicMatic wrote:I would much rather AG be utilizing his athleticism, rather than focusing on becoming a post player next to Vuc. If Orlando is going to have Vuc take 17-19 fga per game, it would be way more beneficial for AG to be working on attacking the basket and stretching the floor. It’s not a “bad” thing that he’s working on his post game, but it doesn’t necessarily help floor spacing or utilize or lack of getting to the line and penetration for kick outs.

I’m glad he’s aspiring to become a better 3 point shooter and handle the ball though... those are definitely abilities Orlando consistently lacks from the rest of the starting lineup.


Totally agree...AG needs to be improving his off ball movement IQ...making better reads on cuts and putting himself in more PnR's were he's the roller and attacking that rim. He should also work on his off-screen shooting. Those are areas where he can use that elite athleticism in the half court.

Backing down guys in post and settling for mid rangers / turn around fade aways just lets defenders off the hook...not to mention just drags down Magic pace and ball movement.


We agree on something? I think hell just froze over.


I don't think AG gets enough credit for his improvement last year. AG really improved his BBIQ last year, he took fewer bad shots and he was really good at diving to the basket and pinning a smaller player underneath the rim allowing him to score or draw fouls. He and Vuc were great working the two man game, overtaking the Fournier/Vuc buddy ball mantle. As far as running off screens, I remember him doing that pretty well in Vogel's offense where he would come off a screen for an open three at the top of the key, but i'm not sure that is a shot that we should be looking for as a team.

I do agree on him being used as a roller on P & R plays but that may be up to coach more than AG. We seem to mainly use our centers as the roll man while our PF spaces in the corner. Maybe we can add that wrinkle now that we will have a capable starter and backup in DJ and Fultz in terms of running the P&R.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#17 » by tiderulz » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:06 pm

NotACat wrote:If you watched the playoffs, you should know how critical it is to have a wing who can score in the post. It will win you games, it creates opportunities when the game shows down and defense gets tougher, it is basically necessary to win a title.

huh? Giannis could score in the post until Toronto put up a wall and it easily shut him down.

Golden State's wings didnt score in the post.

i dont think having a wing that can score in the post is critical. Its nice to have as a weapon in your arsenal, but thats it.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#18 » by Xatticus » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:49 pm

ezzzp wrote:
Bensational wrote:I don't think it's a bad thing for him to be working on. We didn't have any strong post up options on the team, Vuc included (ranked in the 50th percentile - which is only because his FTrate is so low on those shots, it drags his PPP down), so we need someone who can get us buckets in that range once in a while just to be able to catch defenses off guard.

What I hope he means about getting better in the post is that he's talking about the high post and more mid-range jumpers around there and the elbow. That was what I felt he learned the most from playing against Kawhi in that series, was seeing just how he gets his shots and where he chooses to get them. AG was actually working to get some really nice, patient, deliberate shots from his post work in the high post, and he was hitting those pull ups at a high percentage in the playoffs. That's a playoff shot, so I don't mind if he, Vuc, Ross, Fournier, whoever all start to work on having a couple of shots they're good with in that range, because it showed we lacked that element last season.

But if it's his post-up game specifically that he's working on, still doesn't seem like a bad thing. I can't imagine he's neglecting the rest of his game just for that. Even if he do enough just to claw that shot back into respectability a bit more.


Nah, Vucevic shot an excellent .494 FG% from Post Ups and was ranked 7th in entire NBA for PPG in the post.

The main reason that Vucevic is ranked in the 50th percentile has to do with volume impacting rank. Daniel Theis is ranked in the top 99th percentile of NBA because he only posted up 13 times. Meanwhile Kawhi Leonard was in the 60th percentile...and the best post up big in the NBA, Joel Embiid, was only ranked in the 78th percentile.

You have to look at efficiency and volume to contextualize the rank...Joel Embiid shot .501 FG% (518 poss), Kawhi .481 FG% (134 poss), Vucevic .494 (434 poss) FG%...Aaron Gordon .420 FG% (173 poss). Its not even close...Aaron Gordon was not good in that play.

Toronto was ecstatic to give him room, especially in the mid range. They were ok with it as long as they could hedge/cheat off him in order to shut down any Vucevic - DJ/Fournier PnR action. Gordon converted them, making 6-11 mid rangers, but that's hardly an indicator...here is Aaron Gordon from mid-range in past 4 years:

23: 58-176 (.333 FG%)
22: 52-157 (.331 FG%)
21: 69-191 (.391 FG%)
20: 32-101 (.317 FG%)

It's not even remotely close to Kawhi's mid range shooting - not even when Kawhi was at similar age:

23: 131-296 (.443 FG%)
22: 79-174 (.454 FG%)
21: 56-116 (.483 FG%)
20: 27-73 (.370 FG%)

At a certain point its about the team winning games, as opposed to letting Gordon practice shots he hasn't been able to make. I would much rather he focus on maximizing the shots he can make. Let Ross and Fournier shoot those mid rangers when needed, they're much better at it than he is.


I just can't fathom how a player working on a deficiency can be construed as a negative.

50th percentile is 50th percentile. That's a measure of efficiency. I won't speak too much on it because I don't know precisely how their tracking data works. 7th in post PPG just means he is taking a lot of those shots. That's volume, not efficiency. Vucevic's shortcoming has always been his microscopic FTr. He is like a .280 hitter that doesn't draw walks. The batting average looks kind of pretty, but the actual efficiency leaves a lot to be desired.

I'm fairly certain that Gordon was referring to the low post. I think your offense has fundamental problems if you are relying heavily on feeding anyone in the post. The NBA has largely moved on from it in favor of pick-and-roll action. The pick-and-roll takes less time to initiate and it is tougher to defend. That said, you want players that can take advantage of whatever the defense gives you.

This was a simple comment from Gordon about trying to expand his skill set and it is being twisted into him trying to steal shots from other players. Even if this was the case, I couldn't get riled up about it because nobody on this team has a track record of excellence at the offensive end.
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#19 » by Skin » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:34 pm

How did his words get twisted into meaning the only thing he's working on is his post moves?
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Re: Interview: Aaron Gordon keeps grinding, looks to build on Magic’s run 

Post#20 » by NotACat » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:38 pm

tiderulz wrote:
NotACat wrote:If you watched the playoffs, you should know how critical it is to have a wing who can score in the post. It will win you games, it creates opportunities when the game shows down and defense gets tougher, it is basically necessary to win a title.

huh? Giannis could score in the post until Toronto put up a wall and it easily shut him down.

Golden State's wings didnt score in the post.

i dont think having a wing that can score in the post is critical. Its nice to have as a weapon in your arsenal, but thats it.

Giannis was only slowed down because his shot out of the post isn't good enough yet, but he was still effective.

Golden State has KD and Shaun Livingston, but also the 2 best shooters of all time (outlier team).

Of the other teams that made it deep, here's the players that can operate out of the high post: Kawhi, Blake Griffin, Horford, Tatum (to an extent), Embiid, Jimmy Butler, Jokic, DaRozan, Westbrook. Only Portland, Houston, Utah, and Indiana don't have players with this skill and it impacts their ceiling IMO. The players above are the players you go to with the game closing down and you need to find a way to get points on the board.

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