Big Baby Davis Out for the Year, Andrew Nicholson Must Step up for Orlando Magic

By Jared Mintz
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

The awful season for the Orlando Magic got a little bit more awful on Thursday.

With the franchises best player (right?), Glen “Big Baby” Davis going down with a foot injury in Wednesday night’s loss to the New York Knicks, it was learned today that Davis will miss the next 8 to 12 weeks, most likely ending his 2012-13 campaign.

“It’s really unfortunate, because I know he looked forward to this year,” said first-year Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. “[It’s] new territory for him. So it’s really unfortunate for him to be hurt this year multiple times, but it’s a good test for him going forward.”

Davis missed 11 games earlier this season as well, after he dislocated his left shoulder in mid-December. After getting off to a 12-13 start, the Magic have lost 18 of the 20 games since he suffered that shoulder injury, and have to be looking around desperately for an answer.

Which is where I think rookie big man Andrew Nicholson has to step up.

While it isn’t the St. Bonaventure product’s fault that he isn’t being given the minutes to really produce, there really isn’t great talent ahead of the 19th pick in the 2012 NBA draft, sorry Gustavo Ayon and fellow rookie Kyle O’Quinn. Aside from Nikola Vucevic, who is absolutely having one of the better seasons of all big men in the Eastern Conference, Nicholson really only has Josh McRoberts ahead of him now, and with McRoberts is still nursing a toe injury – he’s missed Orlando’s last four games – there isn’t a reason for Nicholson to not be playing, and producing.

I was very high on Nicholson coming into the league, as the Ontario, Canada native has great skills around the basket to go along with his 6-foot-9, 250-pound frame. Nicholson isn’t exactly the above the rim big that NBA scouts drool over nowadays, but he has very good fundamentals, as he averaged 17.1 points and 7.2 rebounds over four seasons in college.

Nicholson even had a few breakout games with the Magic earlier on in the season, going for 22 points and seven rebounds in a late December loss to the Toronto Raptors, and 19 points and nine boards in an early December win over the Phoenix Suns.

Vaughn really doesn’t have much to lose by playing the rookie big man, except of course for the confidence of his 23-year-old. This is Nicholson’s chance to shine, hopefully for both his sake and Vaughn’s sake, he’ll start to see extended minutes.

Besides, it’s not like things can get worse for the Magic.

For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth

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