They squared off on Friday night, however both teams had a different mindset going into the game.
Commonality between forwards
Orlando was fresh off a win, whereas Minnesota had lost two in a row. Looking at the past ten games for both teams, the Magic have a better win-to-loss ratio of 5-5, while the Timberwolves’ ratio is at 4-6.
During Thursday’s practice in Minneapolis, the media spoke with a couple people from the team, forward Aaron Gordon and head coach Steve Clifford.
Gordon touched on his history of playing AAU against Timberwolves player Andrew Wiggins, and how their rivalry since then continued on to them meeting more in the NBA.
Gordon also explained how he hoped to contain Timberwolves’ players, Karl-Anthony Towns and Wiggins.
“We’ve got to be physical. We’ve got to be disciplined. Those are probably the two biggest things”, Gordon said.
Aaron Gordon and his path to perfection
Coach Clifford discussed how Gordon’s drive to always improve is something that is shared with others on the team, such as assistant coach Pat Delany. Delany was the former assistant coach for Clifford back when both coached for the Charlotte Hornets, prior to joining Orlando.
Clifford mentioned how Gordon watches film everyday with Delany. He tries to analyze the game footage and see what he can do to always improve.
When some from the media asked him about whether Gordon finds anything in the game footage that could help him, Gordon explained that everything that’s on film is of importance. And that him studying the game film has allowed him to perform at a higher standard.
“Even on my good games, there’s things that I can improve on,” Gordon said. “So that like chasing perfection has really helped me.”
Gordon then expanded on how while his goal is to always improve and reach the closest thing possible to perfection, doing so is stressful and exhausting.
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