David Manning/USA TODAY
One week ago, Jameer Nelson removed himself from the game against the 76ers, hopping off the court after a quick dish to Nikola Vucevic. There was nothing apparent on the play. Nelson came around the corner, fed a bounce pass to Nikola Vucevic for a dunk and then signaled to the bench to get him off the court.
That was a major turning point in the season, as all injuries to major players often are. Nelson is out indefinitely with a sprained foot. There is no telling how long it will be before he returns to the lineup. And there is a bit of a mystery as to how the team will handle life without him -- although it has just been three games.
"We miss Jameer," Jacque Vaughn said after the loss to the Spurs. "His ability to get in the paint for us and get the guys the ball where they need it. There's no doubt about that. But we still have enough people on the floor to pass and catch and shoot the basketball. But yes, we missed Jameer tonight."
Nelson is struggling a bit this season, statistically. He is averaging 11.7 points per game (the lowest of his career since his rookie year) and shooting 37.3 percent from the floor. If that continues it will mark just the second time in his career he will shoot worse than 40 percent from the floor. Not coincidentally, they would have happened in the last two years. Nelson is also averaging 6.1 assists per game.
According to NBA.com, the Magic have an offensive rating of 104.4 points per 100 possessions when Nelson is on the court and a mere 95.6 points per 100 possessions when Nelson is off the court (the defense is significantly better at 100.3 points allowed per 100 possessions while off the court and 105.0 while on the court). He makes a clear impact on the floor for the Magic.no comments