Jameer Nelson made his NBA playoff debut last night after three months of rehab on his injured shoulder. The media questioned why he would risk coming back but they forget Ariza also came back from injury during last year's finals.
Nelson played 23 minutes scored 6 points and dished out 4 assists. His counter part Rafer Alston played 25 minutes also scored 6 points but had one assist. The rust was obvious on his shot but his passing was right on time.
Nelson gave a pass to the cutting Gortac that sat up like he was serving it on a platter. Gortac caught it in stride and made the lay-up.
Overall the Magic played like a team out of sync it may be a result of Nelsons return. On the other hand it can be attributed to the Magic not playing every other day like the previous rounds.
The Lakers defensive strategy was to trap Nelson in the corners at every opportunity. He only had one turnover but his lack of size may come back to haunt them. Prior to his injury Nelson was the x-factor in both regular season wins against the Lakers. He was able to use his speed and quickness against Derek Fisher.
Orlando has a decision to make because realistically they cannot go on dividing the time between Alston and Nelson. Anthony Johnson is a servicable player but he should be relegated to third guard duty.
Rafer Alston is not an efficient passer. His passing attempts to Dwight Howard is reminiscent of an AND1 game. While he did an admirable job he is better suited as the second guard of the bench.
Rafer is not particular adept at penetrating to find the open man. Whereas Nelson is capable of finding the angles to make the Magic's inside players more effective.
Jameer will also be able to take the fourth quarter repsonsibility away from Hedo Turkgolu who was forced to be the catalyst for the offense. He is stronger then Alston and will make better decisions in crunch time minutes.
They were blown out in game one but it wasn't because the Lakers did anything special—they just missed wide open shots.
In spite of his rust, Orlando needs Nelson's skills to have a chance at beating the Lakers.