Scrolling down the Orlando Magic’s upcoming schedule recently, a revelation hit point guard Jameer Nelson like a ton of bricks. With games dead ahead against Steve Nash, Darren Collison, Tony Parker, John Wall and Derrick Rose, Nelson realized there’s an all-star point guard awaiting him at almost every turn.
“Every night you know you are going to get a good guy at point guard and you have to bring it,’’ said Nelson, an NBA All-Star himself two seasons ago. “But the way I look at it, they have to bring it against me, too. You can never let up against these guys and you just really have to play your game. Especially, defensively you don’t want to let those great guards get going and you to contain them as much as you can.’’ [...]
Nelson said his mentality has to change from night to night depending on whether he is facing a pass-first point guard or one with a scorer’s mentality. For example, he might go under a screen on the pick-and-roll against Parker, Kidd and Rondo because he knows those guards aren’t great shooters, but instead are some of the game’s best drivers. But against Billups, Williams and others, Nelson has to focus more on going over screens to try and take away jump shots.
And some nights – like recently with Williams — in pick-and-roll sets, those guards can be unstoppable.