Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon has no doubt in his mind that he hasn't faced a player like Jimmy Butler in the NBA Playoffs. He may have already guarded LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Karl-Anthony Towns in their 2023 postseason run, but he's well aware of the different challenge that awaits him when he goes against the Miami Heat star in the NBA Finals.
Gordon already said Tuesday that guarding Butler will be difficult since he “does all of the intangible things” and that he “plays the game within the game.” On Wednesday, a day before the Nuggets take on the Heat for Game 1 of the Finals, Denver's defensive anchor doubled down on that take and further detailed what makes Butler different compared to the likes of LeBron, KD and KAT.
“Out of everybody that I've guarded, that we've guarded in the playoffs, Jimmy could arguably be the most complete player,” Gordon explained, via ClutchPoints Twitter.
“Out of everybody that I’ve guarded, that we’ve guarded in the playoffs, Jimmy could arguably be the most complete player.”
Aaron Gordon speaks highly of Jimmy Butler 😮
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 1, 2023
It's understandable why Aaron Gordon feels Jimmy Butler would be a much more difficult challenge for him and the Nuggets. After all, as the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics have learned Butler is just a different beast in the playoffs.
He always finds a way to keep the Heat in the game, and whether they are on the lead or trailing by double digits, he always knows what to do. There may have been times when he struggled in the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, but when the team needed him to step up, he responded.
It remains to be seen how the Nuggets plan to slow down Butler, but it will definitely be interesting to see Gordon take on that challenge. He seems ready and excited for it anyway.