2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Jameer Nelson | Magic Basketball



Jun 07

2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Jameer Nelson


Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Synergy-fueled player evaluations, with the help of other metrics, are always fun.

Today, the point guards.

2009-2010 regular season Jameer Nelson
Games Played 65
Minutes Played 28.6
adj. +/- -4.14
net +/- +1.5
statistical +/- +0.22
PER 15.5
WARP 3.0
Win Shares/48 .130

In 2009, Jameer Nelson‘s performance offensively in the first half of the regular season was excellent. Nelson’s shooting efficiency was off the charts compared to his production in previous years. Nevertheless, given that Nelson shot and made long two’s at a ridiculous and unsustainable rate, it was expected by many that he would regress to the mean on offense in 2010. And that’s exactly what happened.

It’s fair to point out, however, that one of the main reasons why Nelson’s shooting percentages mirrored his career averages this year was the fact that he played most of the regular season not at 100 percent. Tearing the meniscus in his left knee in mid-November slowed Nelson down a majority of the year. It wasn’t until the second half of the season, after Nelson enjoyed some much-needed rest during the All-Star break, that he began to show glimpses of the brilliance that fueled his All-Star campaign last year. That and the chemistry between Nelson and Vince Carter, was more or less, fully developed at that point. It took a few months for Nelson and Carter to be comfortable playing alongside each other in the backcourt, but once they did, it was poetry in motion.

Via Synergy Sports Technology:

2009-2010 regular season Time Poss. PPP* Rank Rating
OVERALL OFFENSE 100% 880 0.93 54% Good
P&R Ball Handler 44.1% 388 0.89 70% Very Good
Spot-Up 18.3% 161 1.19 92% Excellent
Isolation 17% 150 0.87 61% Good
Transition 10.1% 89 0.97 19% Below Average

.540 .510 6.0 32.1 15.5 22.3 110

It’s a bit surprising that Nelson struggled mightily in the “Transition” category. Other than that, though, it shouldn’t come as a shock that Nelson thrived in the “P&R Ball Handler” and “Spot-Up” categories offensively. When Nelson is at his best, he is aggressive in pick and rolls, whether it’s the 1/5 pick and roll with Dwight Howard or the 1/2 pick and roll with Carter. That aggressiveness, especially in the 1/5 pick and roll with Howard (or Marcin Gortat), which was tweaked by head coach Stan Van Gundy in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics to include staggered screens and create more space for Nelson to create either for himself or others, is what fueled his renaissance in the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

Via Synergy Sports Technology:

2009-2010 regular season Time Poss. PPP* Rank Rating
OVERALL DEFENSE 100% 657 0.88 59% Good
P&R Ball Handler 40.8% 268 0.73 79% Very Good
Spot-Up 26.9% 177 1.07 25% Below Average
Isolation 18% 118 0.97 25% Below Average
Post-Up 4.3% 28 0.68 91% Excellent

net def. +/- dMULT opp. PER TRB% STL% BLK%
-2.41 1.064 17.0 (vs. PG’s) 6.0 1.3 0.1

These numbers make sense.

Nelson’s height hurts him when he’s forced to either defend one-on-one or close out on shooters, but his strength helps him when he’s required to fight through screens in pick and rolls or, on rare occasions, defend against post-ups.

Closing thoughts
It’s hard to argue that Nelson didn’t have an up-and-down year, because he did. But needless to say, Nelson’s performance in the playoffs reinforced his ceiling as a player — top 10 point guard in the NBA. If Nelson can stay fully healthy, which is a legitimate question given the way he plays, there’s no reason why he can’t continue to play at the high level he played at during this year’s postseason and give himself a legitimate shot at being named an All-Star for the second time in his career next season.

*points per possession

Grade: B

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera




I think Nelson still has a few "prime" years left in him. It's a mistake to define prime by age. More and more people are defining it by minutes played, especially with the high school generation of NBA players aging in their early 30's.

@Billy (slickw143)


Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Considering Jameer's best basketball came in the first half of last year and the 2nd half of this year, I'd say if he can piece together a year without missing a big chunk that he could have his best year next year.


Eddy how long do you think Jameer Nelson can be effective PG for Orlando? I read somewhere that a PG typical peak is at around 25. Which make sense since a lot of PG games are predicated upon explosive speed, which is the first thing to go athletically with age. Jameer is already 28, so I'm worried that Jameer best years are already behind him and that he could be heading for a major decline in the next year or two. Thus shrinking Orlando championships window significantly. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, Steve Nash being the most visible one.


Love your use of synergy! You are doing a great job with this blog.