Could Jameer Nelson really play in the NBA Finals?

Before we get started, I know what you’re thinking. No, this isn’t a re-post of Jameer’s interview with NBA TV a few weeks ago; this is new. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Magic GM Otis Smith said that if Nelson can pass medical testing he will be activated for the Finals.

If he’s judged healthy enough to return within the next few days, Orlando Magic all-star point guard Jameer Nelson will play against the team he was instrumental in beating twice this season — the Los Angeles Lakers — in the NBA Finals. Game 1 is Thursday night in Los Angeles. General Manager Otis Smith told the Sentinel on Sunday that Nelson would only play if he passes “a litany of tests” and the club is comfortable with a decision that won’t risk his future. [snip] Smith said Nelson had an MRI as recently as last week and has participated in contact drills. “It’s up in the air. We’ll see how Jameer looks the next few days,” Smith said. “There’s a few more things we have to get comfortable with. We’re looking at the pros and cons. Doctors will have to talk to doctors. If we’re at a place where Jameer can help us accomplish our goals, then maybe he can play and give us some more punch.

Wow. I find this news to be a little bit shocking and my reaction is sort of mixed. On one hand, who wouldn’t like to have Nelson back? But on the other, the Magic have made it this far without him and why mess with the playing rotation while at the same time potentially risking Nelson’s long-term health? Honestly, I don’t think Nelson will pass the testing, and if that’s the case then this whole argument becomes a moot point. Not to mention the fact that Nelson hasn’t played since February and may not even be in game shape. But then again, adding him to the active roster couldn’t hurt, especially if it’s at the expense of a player like Jeremy Richardson, who has no shot of getting on the floor anyway. As a competitor I’m sure Nelson is dying to get out on the floor with his teammates. You can see it in his eyes every time the cameras catch him sitting on the end of the Orlando bench. What do you think? Do you want the Magic to activate Nelson if he’s healthy? Can he really help the team after not playing for four months?

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily