Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 1/13/12
About an hour before the Orlando Magic tipped off against the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday night, I posed a simple question to Magic General Manager Otis Smith: Whats up with Jameer Nelson so far this season?" Smith, in typical Smith fashion, gave me a simple, yet clear response. Hes not being aggressive enough, said the man who still has the utmost confidence in his 29-year-old point guard. And no doubt, Nelson has done plenty to earn the respect of Smith, thrilling Magic fans with some terrific play throughout his seven-plus years in the NBA. There is a saying folks within the inner circle of the ballclub have: As goes Jameer, so go the Magic. It is a phrase that more often than not rings true. Since the 2008-09 season (the year the Magic made a run to the NBA finals, and Jameer was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team before suffering a shoulder injury in early February) Nelson has averaged 13.7 points and 5.8 assists per game, shooting 49 percent from the field (a blistering 45 percent on 3-pointers) with an assistturnover ratio of 2.71 in 133 wins. In 59 losses, Jameer has averaged 12.9 points and 5.3 assists per game, but he has been much less efficient, shooting just 41 percent from the field (30 percent 3-pointers) with an assistturnover ratio just barely above 2.0. To further corroborate Nelsons importance to Magic success, take a look at his Player Efficiency Rating (John Hollingers player evaluation metric) through the years. The average NBA PER is 15.0. In 2008-09, Jameers PER was 20.66, the highest rating of his career. In the other three seasons Orlando won 50 games, Nelsons PER was above the league average (15.36 in 2007-08, 15.55 in 2009-10, 15.47 last season). After his first nine games this season, Jameers PER was a career-low 9.62. There is good news for the Magic and Jameer Nelson. Despite a slow start by the veteran point guard, the team is still winning. After a three-game sweep of Sacramento, Portland and Golden State on the West Coast, only the Chicago Bulls and the Oklahoma City Thunder have a better record than Orlandos 8-3 mark. And Nelson is showing signs of picking up his game. He averaged 10 points and 5.7 assists per game on the road trip, while shooting 56 percent from the field and making three of six from 3-point range. Not yet the kind of numbers he posted during his impressive run in 2009, but given the fact that, at age 29, he should be entering his prime, there are likely better days ahead for Nelson, and that would mean better days ahead for the Magic.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mitchell Trubisky didn’t even think the Bears would draft him

John Lynch: 49ers landed ‘two of our top three players’

Report: Buccaneers passed on Dalvin Cook due to Doug Martin

Bears trade up one spot with 49ers for Mitch Trubisky

Cleveland Browns select Myles Garrett with No. 1 overall pick

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Matt Carpenter’s walk-off grand slam was pretty rare

Report: Rajon Rondo ruled out for Game 6 against Celtics

NBA announces eight new awards to be voted on by fans

Report: Sherman wants to be traded to Patriots

Report: Carmelo Anthony trying to save marriage with wife La La

Yoenis Cespedes exits game with left hamstring pull

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

Box Score 4/27: Waiting for Goodell to call our name

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker