Timberwolves’ Jaden McDaniels makes honest take on Aaron Gordon disrespect

Tony Nguyen | Denver Nuggets
May 15, 2024

The Minnesota Timberwolves saw their series lead against the Denver Nuggets evaporate, and it was an exceptional Game 4 performance from Aaron Gordon that helped pace the fightback. Jaden McDaniels then gave his two cents on what allowed the Nuggets big man to succeed.

Gordon went on a tear in the Game 4 victory, making all but one of his 12 field goal attempts, on his way to 27 points. This included five makes in the low block, three mid-range jumpers, and two three-pointers from the right wing.

During the 115-107 road win, Gordon also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out six assists, and had two blocked shots, helping the Nuggets tie the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

Jaden McDaniels admits fault in allowing prime Aaron Gordon shooting in Game 4 loss

Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3)
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

McDaniels was one of the Timberwolves’ primary defenders assigned to Gordon and admitted that his loose defense allowed him to get him into his groove. When asked by reporters what the team should do to Gordon in the next games, he said that the team should stop the disrespect on the Nuggets big man.

“Probably stop disrespecting [Aaron Gordon]. He[‘s] a NBA player, he can make shots. Like even myself, sometimes I don’t close out to him. If I was him, I’d be mad as well, and I’d try to make as many shots as I can. And that’s what he’s doing.”

In the Game 4 loss, McDaniels finished with 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting with two rebounds, one steal, and one block.

Nuggets’ Jokic-Gordon twin tower combo key in series comeback

Aaron Gordon’s Game 4 output allowed him to be the Nuggets’ secondary scorer, displaying his impressive chemistry with primary scoring threat Nikola Jokic. The reigning league MVP posted a team-high 35 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the victory.

Similarly, Gordon played an efficient second-option scorer in Game 3, with a total of 13 points on five-for-seven shooting from the field with five assists. Jokic nearly tallied a triple-double of 24 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, three steals, and three blocks.

During nine games in the playoffs so far, Gordon averaged 15.3 points on 60.9% shooting from the field with 7.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.4 steals on 37.9 minutes on the floor. Jokic has been equally impressive, turning in averages of 27.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks on 39.8 minutes on the floor in the postseason.

Nuggets stronger after absorbing losses in series 

The victories in Game 3 and 4 have seemingly unleashed a different beast within the defending NBA champion Nuggets. Prior to Game 3, Head Coach Michael Malone reportedly played back a series of clips of league observers counting the team out after their lackluster showing in the first two games of the series at home.

Nikola Jokic admitted that he did not count their team out, but the losses only made the Nuggets stronger.

“It made us stronger. It made us more together collectively,” Jokic said after Game 4. “We took a hit, and we bounced back. And hopefully we can defend home court now.”