• Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023


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Watching Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry run Nuggets’ Aaron Gordon in circles for 8 full seconds is so satisfying – SF Gate

After being blown out by the Golden State Warriors in Games 1 and 2 of the NBA playoffs’ opening round, the Denver Nuggets turned in their first competitive fourth quarter of the series Thursday night, albeit in a 118-113 losing effort to dig themselves a magma-core-of-the-Earth-deep 3-0 hole.

Of the Nuggets adjustments that worked: giving the ball to presumptive NBA MVP Nikola Jokic. A lot. Jokic finished with a series-high 37 points and 18 rebounds, hitting 14 of 22 shots to go along with nine trips to the charity stripe (he made seven free throws).

Of the Nuggets adjustments that did not work: asking Denver forward Aaron Gordon to guard Golden State’s guards, starting with honorary Splash Brother Jordan Poole.

Here’s how that went:

Jordan Poole: 27 points, 9-of-13 shooting, 3-of-5 from 3-point range

Klay Thompson: 26 points, 10-of-18 shooting, 6-of-13 from 3-point range

Steph Curry: 27 points, 9-of-17 shooting, 3-of-9 from 3-point range

The defensive move mystified pretty much everyone:

One 8-second clip posted by sports talking head Dan Le Batard on Thursday night summed up Gordon’s night defensively.

“Aaron Gordon chasing Steph Curry is what I imagine Hell is like,” Le Batard wrote alongside video of Curry running Gordon in absolute circles before taking an uncontested floater that bounced harmlessly off the rim.

Gordon already has one of the worst regular season defensive ratings on the team (113.8) and is almost seven points worse than the league average (106.9), and that’s when he’s not guarding the Warriors’ Death Lineup.

What adjustments does Nuggets head coach Mike Malone have in store for the Warriors in Game 4? Will DeMarcus Cousins be guarding Gary Payton II? Will Bones Hyland be the new Draymond Green stopper? We’ll all have to wait and see on Sunday when Denver hosts Game 4 at 12:30 p.m. at Ball Arena in a potential sweep game for Golden State.