Orlando Magic News & Notes: Jameer Nelson Ready For Postseason, T-Mac’s Return


Jameer Nelson is ready to contribute in the postseason.

"“He’s a lot smarter, a better player because of the things he’s had to go through,” Howard said. “Even though he’s been an all-star, he’s doing things on the floor to make us even better. He’s grown as a point guard.”Shooting guard J.J. Redick says of Nelson, “He takes us to another level when he’s playing well.”Nelson is sort of a gauge to assess the Magic’s progress.When he’s taking care of the ball, being aggressive and driving the lane to score or to set up teammates with passes, Orlando is at its multi-dimensional best. And when the club is struggling offensively, Nelson is a natural scorer who can produce points in bunches."

Brian Schmitz has that story here.

Orlando is turning into a very popular destination for NBA free agents.

"Kidd knew players would flock to the Magic because it’s not hard to see why the team is so attractive. Who wouldn’t want to play alongside Dwight Howard, enjoy the sunny weather, pay no state income tax, and now have the chance to win a championship? Throw a new arena set to open this October into the mix and suddenly you’re pretty popular."

Alex Kennedy discusses that topic here.

There are some potential Cleveland weaknesses that Orlando could exploit.

"“Defensively, Shaq’s return could force them into some tough decisions since neither he nor Zydrunas Ilgauskas gets out on pick-and-rolls. So the first thing any opponent is going to do is put those guys in pick-and-rolls away from the basket. While Varejao and Hickson can try to pick up that guy who sets the screen and is rolling to the basket, what happens if a team puts a pick-and-pop guy there? If Orlando sits Dwight Howard for a time and the screener is Rashard Lewis, are you going to put Z and Shaq on the bench? Then you’re going to have Jamison out there and he’s not a good defender.”"

Paul Forrester of Sports Illustrated has that story here.

A potential return to Orlando shows Tracy McGrady what could have been.

"Everything was set up for the start of a dynasty, or at least the Eastern Conference’s answer to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant’s Lakers.“It would have been unbelievable,” McGrady said. “For me, it was a no-brainer to have the opportunity to go home. But I was just excited to play with Grant and Tim. Grant was awesome back then and in his prime, I was coming into my own and Tim had already won a title.”"

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News has that story here.

The Magic have impressed McGrady.

"“I think they’re actually better than they were last year,” McGrady said. “They match up great against Cleveland. Although [Cleveland] has [Antawn] Jamison, Orlando still has [Rashard] Lewis. It will come down to shot-making; they couldn’t guard [Lewis].”Carter, the ex-Net from Daytona Beach, is getting his groove on, averaging 16.5 points in 31 minutes.“Vince had his struggles early,” McGrady said. “He had to adjust to playing with a big guy [Dwight Howard]. He never really played with a big guy. It was a different role for him. I think he’s found his comfort level with that team.”"

Marc Berman of the New York Post has more on this story here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks and Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).