|02-12-2009, 11:17 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2007
The importance of a PG.
A pretty good read in regards to Jameer Nelson and the effect that he's had on that ORL team.
Small wonder that we've lost so many games too given that we've been without Jose for pretty much half the season.
Meaning of Nelson's loss more and more apparent to Magic -- OrlandoSentinel.com
Meaning of Nelson's loss more and more apparent to Magic
David Whitley | SPORTS COMMENTARY
February 12, 2009
Stop the season. The Magic want to get off.
Luckily for them, the season does stop today. The bad news is it resumes next week, which is about six months too soon.
It will take that long for Jameer Nelson to be back to his new self. And we're starting to see just how valuable he was to the Magic.
They played their worst offensive game of the season Wednesday night. It was so bad that a healthy Nelson might not have mattered. Magic Johnson in his prime would have had a hard time salvaging this kind of stinker:
But on the bright side, the Magic dancer made Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. If only Deanna Clover could have made a couple of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, Orlando might have pulled out a miracle win.
Cutting a 20-point deficit to six points showed character. If this is what life without Jameer is going to be like, they're going to need it.
"Offensively, we're just not, I'm not and they're not finding any answers right now," Stan Van Gundy said.
That from a team that had all the right ones until five games ago. The Magic were on a 60-win pace and thinking NBA Finals. Then Nelson dived for a loose ball and came up with a loose labrum.
Counting that game, Orlando is 2-3 since losing their point guard. When it comes to playoff positioning, the setback won't really matter.
The Magic aren't going to catch Boston or Cleveland. Unless Dwight Howard comes down with a torn labrum or retires like Brett Favre, nobody is going to catch them.
So the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference is pretty much a lock. What is far from a lock is whether the Magic will be able to successfully reinvent themselves.
Losing your point guard affects so much more than one position. It's like having your head cut off, and a coach like George Karl knows how to take advantage of that.
The Nuggets slowed the game down, doubled Dwight Howard and ran out hard on the Magic's shooters. Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu won't go 6-for-25 every night, but easy looks are going to be harder to find.
That's because Nelson could penetrate and break down a defense. Neither Anthony Johnson nor Tyronn Lue are as nearly as good at that.
"In a lot of ways what we did is just kind of showed that Nelson is a very important part to their team," Karl said. "I think Jameer has moved into a special echelon of players. I'm not saying he's a top-five point guard, but he's awfully good."
I'd say Nelson was pretty close to becoming a top-five point guard, and they're not easy to find. But again, Wednesday did have extenuating circumstances.
With a five-day break looming, everybody's mind was already halfway to Cancun. The Nuggets were still sore over the way Orlando slapped them around in their first encounter in Denver.
Then there was the Clover Effect. How's a team supposed to concentrate with her around?
I know, excuses, excuses. Van Gundy wasn't having any of them.
"We got absolutely dominated," he said. "Not one guy had a decent night offensively."
Even if you buy all the other factors, part of that can be traced to something that isn't going away. Actually, it isn't going to return.
"We're trying to learn how to play without Jameer," Howard said.
The funny thing is people used to say the Magic couldn't win with Nelson at point guard.
Now the question becomes, can they win without him?
Last edited by TORaptor4Ever; 02-12-2009 at 11:20 PM.
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