His advanced post game made him a player who could instantly get inserted into the lineup and produce for the Magic. Orlando could trust him with the ball to score more often than not. It was refreshing to see from the rookie that he was able to contribute almost immediately.
Nicholson though has recently found himself buried on the roster with Tobias Harris taking over the starting power forward spot and Kyle O'Quinn pushing his way into the rotation. Nicholson even had to cede time for a while to Al Harrington in his cameo this season.
Nicholson's playing time has often been a yo-yo between ample playing time and no playing time -- between starting and sitting. It can be tough for a rookie to go through these wild swings. Even in this latter stage of the season where Orlando is playing more of its rookies, Nicholson has seen his minutes limited and he has struggled to crack the starting lineup.
"I’ll do it [find minutes for Nicholson]," Jacque Vaughn said after Nicholson did not play against the Sixers on March 10. "At one point, we had six bigs able to play and we found ways to do it. Can I promise Andrew that he is going to play every game? No. [. . .] Those promises won’t be coming from me.
"We’ll continue to practice. Guys will get opportunities to play and I’ll be fair like have been all year and communicate with the guys. Each guy needs to be ready to play each and every night."
Since the Feb. 21 trade deadline, Andrew Nicholson is averaging 16.9 minutes per game in 18 games. That is slightly above his season average. But considering the vast amount of increased playing time for youngsters like Maurice Harkless and Kyle O'Quinn, Nicholson's increase is relatively modest.no comments