Nelson Comes Up Big for Magic | Magic Basketball



Apr 25

Nelson Comes Up Big for Magic

Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

As seen on ESPN’s Daily Dime.

Entering Game 3, the Charlotte Bobcats were looking to do something they had never done before — win a playoff game. The Bobcats whiffed on their first two chances to do it against the Orlando Magic on the road in Games 1 and 2. However, Charlotte had a golden opportunity to get the proverbial monkey off its back in front of a sellout crowd at Time Warner Cable Arena in Sunday’s game.

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Jameer Nelson ruined the party.

For Nelson, who had torched Raymond Felton & Co. in Game 1 on Sunday by scoring 32 points, it was déjà vu all over again, but with a twist. Yes, Nelson scored 32 points for the second time in three games, tying his playoff career high, but this time he set a franchise playoff record by scoring the most points in a quarter (19 in the first). Considering that the Magic’s postseason history includes prolific scorers like Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Tracy McGrady, just to name a few, it’s an impressive accomplishment for Nelson.

How did he do it?

Nelson scored a majority of his 19 points in spot-up situations, contrary to the first quarter in Game 1, when he scored either in the pick-and-roll with Dwight Howard or in transition. Nelson did an excellent job of staying ready and being decisive on the perimeter when he received the basketball off a pass from Howard, Rashard Lewis or whomever else.

Perhaps what was most impressive about Nelson was his court awareness on the final play of the first quarter. After a missed shot from Stephen Jackson, Nelson raced down the floor and looked to put up a desperation heave before the buzzer. In the process of crossing half court, Nelson drew a foul after Felton was reaching in and hoisted a 35-foot 3-pointer immediately after the referee blew his whistle with 1.3 seconds left.

The shot went in on the continuation — after brief deliberation from the officials — and Nelson was able to connect on the ensuing free throw to make a four-point play.

It was that kind of outing for Nelson, who is quickly reminding everyone why he was named an All-Star in 2009 and, in the process, putting the Magic in the driver’s seat to sweep the Bobcats.


Jameer has really stepped up as the leader of this team with Vince and Dwight struggling to get it going. It's nice to see him silence his critics and step up big in the postseason, especially against the best defense in the league.

Congrats on making it on the Daily Dime!