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Would the Orlando Magic Be More Successful with a Pass First NBA Point Guard?

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 24:  A fan dressed in neon green holding a green sign with the words 'Kryptonite' on it heckles Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during a free throw against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 24, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Eddie WaltersAnalyst IISeptember 26, 2011

It's nothing personal towards Jameer Nelson. If Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic seriously want to win a championship, they need a point guard who can do a better job of getting the other four players on the court involved in the offense.  

Nelson does a lot of good things for the Orlando Magic, though he is clearly a score first point guard. In fact, Nelson is more of a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's body. Having a score first point guard can work for some NBA teams, but not teams whose best players are a center and three point shooters.

The Magic's offense revolves around Dwight Howard. 

Howard needs to touch the ball on every offensive possession for the Magic, even if it's just to keep the defense honest.

The problem is, Nelson often struggles to get the ball to Howard, and this is where a pass first point guard would be better suited for the style of offense the Magic run. 

A sight seen all too often in Orlando is Nelson dribbling at the top of the key while precious time is ticking off the game and shot clock, all while Jameer is trying to set up the offense. This is where a point guard with better court vision and the ability to distribute the ball in a hurry would be more beneficial.  

Nelson has never averaged more then six assists per game in an NBA season, and he has a career assist average that sits below five.

With Dwight Howard in the middle and premier three-point shooters on the wing, there is no reason Nelson should not have higher assist numbers.

When Nelson penetrates and takes the ball to the basket, more often than not, it ends up with him taking a shot rather than dishing the ball outside to a shooter or setting up Howard for an easy finish at the rim.

Nelson has never shown the ability to become an elite NBA passer, and that's why the Magic need to move forward and consider other options at the point guard position.

Many Orlando Magic fans have grown to love point guard Jameer Nelson over the past seven seasons, and the Magic have had some strong years in that span. However, the Magic know their ceiling with Nelson at the point, and it may now be time to see what a true passing point guard can do in Orlando.  

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