If there was any doubt that Jameer Nelson has fully returned to being an All-Star caliber point guard like he was in 2009, his performance against the Miami Heat proved that he’s playing to the peak of his ability once again.
Led by Dwyane Wade, the Heat made a furious comeback in the fourth quarter after trailing by as many as 12 points earlier in the game. All it took was a 12-3 run that spanned roughly three minutes for Miami to take an 88-87 lead. Magic fans had seen this movie too many times before, and it seemed like Wade was going to steal another win for the Heat against their rival.
However, Nelson — with a verbal push from Brandon Bass — “let it fly” in the late stages of the fourth quarter when the Magic needed buckets. Nelson scored 11 points in the period and Orlando was able to come away with a much-needed win versus Miami, even if they’re not playing to their full potential. With that scoring flurry, Nelson reminded everyone why he’s the engine that makes the Magic go.
The one thing that stands out the most from the video, however, is that on two separate possessions, the Heat elected to use Wade and LeBron James to defend Nelson on the perimeter. Didn’t work. And this last point won’t comfort supporters of Miami but at the 0:33 mark of the video, look at Chris Bosh’ worthless attempt at help defense as Nelson attacks the basket.
Instead of meeting Nelson as he enters the paint, Bosh waits until the very last minute before putting up any resistance defensively.
Something to keep in mind when the Magic and Heat face off again.