He could have been wondering why his team was 20-62 and the Heat were almost the exact opposite and playing in the NBA Finals. Nelson remembers the last time he played against the Heat. It was the third to the last game of the season. The Magic lost 108-94 and they were on their way to being the worst team in the NBA.
However, he had a game against the Heat that drew plenty of attention. It was a game that Nelson would like the Magic and others in the NBA to consider as vintage Jameer Nelson. It was the type of game he would like to be playing all the time, and it was also the type of game his teammates would like to see him playing at all times.
Nelson saw action for 41 minutes and was 9-of-20 from the floor, including 6-of-10 from the 3-point area and 4-of-5 in free throws. He scored 27 points and had 12 assists. In his next game, he played for 42 minutes and scored 13 points while dishing out 11 assists.
It was the game against Miami that the Magic hopes Nelson will copy and put on the court for 82 times this season. Well, if not 82 times, then at least half that.
Nelson’s play is one reason some NBA observers think Nerlens Noel would be a more appropriate first-round pick because the Orlando team has more of an inside strength, and also have perimeter needs to complement what Nelson does.
During the offseason, Orlando need to remember what Nelson did against the Heat and what he could do during the 2013-14 season.