Player Profile: Jameer Nelson | Magic Basketball

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Oct 01

Player Profile: Jameer Nelson

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 10.11.51 PM

Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Frankel’s 2013-14 projections

PPG RPG APG TS% PER
14.3 3.8 7.6 48.8 13.6

At this stage in his career, it’s safe to say that Jameer Nelson is a seasoned veteran as he enters his 10th season with the Orlando Magic, which makes him the longest-tenured Magic player in franchise history along Nick Anderson (who would have thought Nelson would last this long with the organization?).

Here’s what’s important to consider. Despite receiving major scrutiny — from basically anyone — for being unable to consistently recapture his 2009 form, Jameer definitely has a little more left in the tank.

Nelson saw an increase in his points and assists in the 2012-13 season, but don’t let the improvement of his per game averages fool you. He saw a rise in his stats across the board, but that was due to a dramatic increase in playing time — he played 35.3 minutes per game (his career average is 28.9 mpg). His per-36 numbers last season showed he was the same player he’s always been.

The bottom line with Jameer is that he gets it done over the course of a long regular season. There are going to be moments when he looks sloppy and even lost on the floor, but then he will explode for 25 points a week later and absolutely torch guys on the perimeter like he’s still got his St. Joe’s legs.

Streaky shooting is his downside, and with the new-found support of Victor Oladipo and return of Arron Afflalo, look for (or at least hope for) Jameer to turn into more of a drive-and-kick point guard, given that his shot has fallen off significantly since 2009.

The big worry for Nelson is that his PER has declined each year over the last four seasons. This past season, he found himself hovering around the league-average with a 14.4 PER.

Nelson’s .498 True Shooting percentage wasn’t that much better, either. When you can’t hit the deep ball and the long 2′s aren’t falling, you become less of an offensive threat. That’s the bottom line.

Nelson should look to lead in other ways than he’s used to leading. If he can look to facilitate first, drive second, and shoot third, he will get back to being more of an efficient player. There is plenty of young talent now offensively where he can start to think more like a traditional point guard instead of a primary scoring option on the team.

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