NBA / Nov 18, 2009 / 9:30 am

Jason Williams Must Hold it Down For Orlando

Jason Williams

Jameer Nelson just can’t catch a break. Last February, the Magic’s starting guard hurt his shoulder, causing him to shut it down for the rest of last season and almost the entire playoffs. Just a few weeks into this 2009-10 season, Nelson tore some cartilage in his left knee against the Bobcats on Monday night. Jameer will have surgery on the knee and is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks. The question now is: how much will Nelson’s absence hurt the Magic in the short and long run?

Right now, the Magic’s record is standing at 8-3 and they are in third place in the extremely competitive Southeast Division. You figure at worst, the Magic will be without Nelson for around 20 games. Unless they make a move for another point guard, they will have to make due with Jason Williams and Anthony Johnson. The big concern about those two, is their ages – J-Will is 34 years old while Johnson is 35. So far, in his first season back after sitting out last year, Williams has been solid and more efficient. In just 18.4 mpg of action, he is averaging 5.4 ppg, 4 apg and his field goal and three point percentages are up and his turnovers are down since the last time he played. Anthony Johnson, on the other hand has barely played at all this season, appearing in just 4 games.

After Nelson went down last year, Rafer Alston came in via trade from Houston and filled in nicely (12.0 ppg, 5.1 apg) for the team’s final 29 regular season games and the first three rounds of the playoffs. Some argued, that the Magic seemed better with Alston than with Nelson. Williams has been a starter all of his career and was the point guard for the 2006 Miami Heat team that won a championship. Now he will be asked to basically double his minutes and probably his point production.

Williams looks like he is in good shape and can handle the extra burn and expectations. White Chocolate still has the flash and the ability to make plays. He’s got a lot of experience and can get guys like Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter easy looks. The good news is, only nine out of the next 20 games are against playoff teams, but the bad news is he’ll have to match up against Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams (twice) and rookie Brandon Jennings (twice).

If Williams can help Orlando win around 13 of those games, than the Magic will still have a chance to make a run for the top spot in the East. On top of Johnson as a backup, Carter is another guy who can bring up the ball and create for others. He has a career assist average of 4.2. Plus, the Magic are used to playing without their main players for extended periods of time. They have a deep and versatile enough line up where they can switch things up. They did it last year with Jameer and they did it without Lewis for 10 games.

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    i dont think this hurts them at all. The Magic are the deepest team in the leauge so they’re built for injuries like this to happen. Now if Howard goes down….thats a whole different story.


  • Josh

    My fantasy team on the other hand doesn’t look like it can survive Nelson going down. :(

  • maeng

    oh dont worry, white chocolate will hold the fort down while jameer recovers, watching j-will so far this season, he has been very efficient and with more minutes he’ll get those points and assists up. plus he’s still looks pretty quick on the court for a 34 year old who didnt play pro ball last year.

  • Kudabeen

    They will be fine. Anthony Johnson always holds his own and will take advantage of the extra burn. Speedy PGs may give them trouble, but really Nelson showed against Mo Williams, that he isn’t really a stopper though. I like that we get to see what Jason Williams can do with all those shooters and leapers…should be fun.

  • Octopus Jonny

    Last year when Jameer went down, the Magic had a guy named Hedo that just happened to be able to run the offense as well.

  • http://dime eyes

    SKIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP. The ghost of Alston haunts. Terrible decision for Jameer to feel safe. Arroyo now Skip. Rafer fit this system perfectly. I said it before they’re going to miss him. He had a right to feel upset but should have still acted like a pro. They made a mistake not only bringing Jameer back but playing him way to much & starting him. That cost Superman his finals.

  • Diggity Dave

    J-Dub should be able to hold down the fort. He’s only a couple of years removed from being the starting point guard for a championship team.

  • http://www.random-ish.com Scoob

    How much do you want to bet that Steph will be on the Magic in a few weeks? I’m in for a buck.

  • George W Kush Sr

    @8, that would be interesting and fun to watch

  • yoda

    i wonder is jameer injury prone now? i mean, andrew bynum is labeled as injury prone, even hes injuries are result of someone crashing into his knees (kobe and lamar). to me, that sounds like a freak accidents.

  • K Dizzle

    cosign what octopus jonny said:

    Skip was good, but Hedo ran that offense just as much. There won’t be no panic til the Magic lose two in a row, then watch the trade rumors…

  • Jas

    They should sign Iverson.

  • http://www.bouncemag.com 40 CAL bouncemag.com

    Iverson is going to be a knick and the Iverson show wont work in Orlando, other than that Jay Will been looking good so far, a year off can do a lot for a player, those same strained joints have had time to heal and Jay Will is Older and a lot wiser now so combine those two with a handle a and a Jimmy and you you have a point guard that can step up to the plate when you need to go run and gun.

  • Balla

    The line up of J-Dub and Vince on the same team starting, 10 years ago would have been pure nastiness.

  • http://nba.com momo

    yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah jsmoove is back baybay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • QQ

    He WILL hold it down for the Magic. Have you seen him play? Solid, solid PG. He WILL hold it down.

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    They should bring in sergio rodriguez so they can have both white chocolate and spanish chocolate.

  • bigger_daddy

    word on that pet!