DeMarcus Nelson: Reborn

Tommy MarcusCorrespondent INovember 5, 2008

A few months ago, as a die hard Duke Blue Devil fan, I found myself questioning whether or not DeMarcus Nelson was worthy of a starting position in the NCAA Tournament. The senior and leader on the team, the one who'd seen it all—does he deserve to be playing over all these other talented players?

Now let's fast forward ourselves a little bit, to present day. The absolute impossible happened. Was DeMarcus Nelson, the guy who while in his senior year as the captain of one of the top NCAA College Basketball teams in the country, Duke, threw up bricks at the foul line, couldn't handle the ball, and always tried to do too much in big situations, seriously be starting at the professional level?

Well, to my surprise, the answer to that was yes.

And he hasn't done too poorly either. DeMarcus Nelson is averaging almost six points per game, 1.7 rebounds per game, as well as 2.3 assists, playing a position, point guard, that he is new to.

Obviously, they aren't all-star stats, but far above the expectations for the man that is filling in as a replacement for an injured point guard as well as the former Warriors star, Baron Davis, who was lost this off-season to the Clippers.

Although the Warriors haven't been great, starting off with a 1-3 record, Nelson has shown that he can handle the NBA level: Something that most recruiters were doubting just a few months ago.

DeMarcus Nelson has gone through a change. A change that will turn his whole life around. Nelson can now establish himself as a solid NBA player, and can look for a long and balanced career in the NBA.

Back in March, in Duke's last game, Nelson put up one of the most desperate and poor efforts a senior leader could have ever put up. Nelson, all by himself, brought the Duke Blue Devils down in the Sweet 16.

He was taking shots he shouldn't have even thought about, turning the ball over left and right, and just looking out of sync. From that moment on, I told myself there was no way that he could make it to the NBA.

It's amazing how things change. If you asked anybody a few months ago, any spectator who watched a Duke basketball game last season, if DeMarcus Nelson had what it took to be in the NBA, almost every single one of them would have said no. Even the biggest fans of Nelson.

Well fans, it looks like Nelson went out with a goal to change that.