NBA / May 27, 2010 / 12:15 pm

NBA GMs Take Note: Jameer Nelson Proves That Size Doesn’t Matter

Jameer Nelson has proven to be Dwight Howard‘s most reliable sidekick in the Eastern Conference Finals as he hit two big threes in overtime of Game 4, and came up big again last night dropping 24 points, five rebounds and five assists. Nelson’s incredible production comes despite the fact that he is generously listed at six feet tall. And Nelson’s height has been a knock on him since his playing days at St. Joe’s. People have said he was too small to have an impact in the NBA, but Nelson has continued to prove doubters wrong.

During his senior year, Nelson racked up every imaginable senior Player of the Year award while averaging 20.6 points, 5.3 assists and 2.9 steals per game for the Hawks. He was projected to be a top-10 pick in that year’s NBA Draft (2004), but he fell all the way to 20 where he was snatched up by the Magic (who acquired his rights from Denver).

While people criticized Nelson about his size, he has not let his height deter him from becoming an All-Star in the NBA. Nelson is built like a rock, is a very good defender, and has the shooting and passing abilities that allow him to thrive alongside Howard and in the Magic offense. Along the way to becoming an All-Star and top-tier point guard, Nelson has helped quell the obsession over size that NBA scouts have these days.

Watching the NBA Draft Combine, and hearing all about the different measurements of each player, I had to wonder why such a premium is put on size? I can understand why scouts emphasize size when grading big-men, but when grading guards, it is mystifying to me why they value size as much as they do. In the NBA today, most of the star point guards in the League such as Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Aaron Brooks are all rather short compared to guys like Jason Kidd who possesses “ideal” size for a guard. While having the size to match up with different players and guard different positions is a valuable asset for a player, those that weren’t blessed with the best gene pool shouldn’t be marked down because of it.

Size matters to an extent, but when a player of Nelson’s skill falls to 20th in the Draft and then goes on to a great career, it should be a warning sign to GMs that not everyone has to be the strongest or the tallest. But everyone needs talent, and Nelson has plenty of that.

What do you think?

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  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    That’s not what she said.

  • hahns

    credit the magic too for sticking w/ jameer- he came out of the gates slowly his first few years in the league, having up and down years. the investment seriously paid off though- hes playing like a beast right now.

  • Buddahfan

    Regarding Jameer Nelson this has been obvious about his favorable impact on the Magic ever since Billups went to the Western Conference.

    Billups used to eat Nelson’s lunch even worse than used to eat CP3′s lunch before Billups was traded to Denver

  • sweetv0mit

    @Spliff 2 My Lou hahahahaha

    Jameers got a lot of heart too thats why he’s that good

  • control

    It isn’t his height that is making the difference, it’s the fact that he’s playing like he has a set of balls instead of the manpussies that the other guys (Shard and Vince) are playing with. The starters outside of Jammer and Dwight are playing like they are eunuchs.

  • atticusmitch

    Just a Thougt:
    It will be interesting to see how far Sharron Collins falls in the draft because of his height.Nelson and Collins are both very similarly built and Collins can eventually have the same skill set. I think it will be beneficial for Sharron Collins to see how Nelson plays and try to build his game around him. Both are great at getting to the basket to score or setting up their big(Dwight and Cole) for an easy dunk. Although Collins is a better overall shooter than when Nelson came into the league, he needs to watch footage of how Nelson chooses his shoots and passes. But hey its just a thought.

  • LakeShow84

    LMAO

    Did someone really eunuchs?????

    thats the funniest shit i read all week lololololol

  • Daniel Marks

    Collins reminds me alot of Nelson. 4 year player, who was rock solid but questions about his size. This draft is deeper though than with Nelson’s so Collins probably will stay be a late 1st rounder at best

  • Quest???

    I think a team should let jj barea run the point for them..barea is a more prolific scorer than nelson and has more court vision

  • http://diaryofatiredblackman.wordpress.com/ Cal

    I DISAGREE COMPLETELY!!! Size does matter guys. Jameer is rare. He has the heart, toughness, and tenacity. You put a hundred guys at his height with his talent, but without his personality and sense of urgency, 4 make it. Take those same hundred, make the 6’4…same talent, no urgency, 50 of them make it. Size matters guys. Sorry Sherron Collins. http://diaryofamiseducatedblackman.com/2010/05/27/venus-booty-nba-penis-and-tennis-boobs/

  • atticusmitch

    @Cal

    I totally agree that size matters in more ways than one if you get what I’m saying. However I think Collins has what Nelson has, heart. Put him on a team with a good guard for him to learn from and in a couple years he’ll be a solid starter. I don’t know if he’ll put up stats like 20, 5 and 5 in the Eastern conference finals. But I think Sharron is gonna be a surprise to however drafts him.

  • KnicksFan84

    When was Rondo considered small… SMH

    Anyways, I think it should be “HEIGHT” doesn’t matter, not size. If you’re smallish but built like a FB/mack truck you can succeed in the nba. See Nate Robinson.

  • DTUCK

    Talent is the main thing to me. KDiggs couldn’t bench 185 @ the combine, but everybody knew that he was cold.

  • sh!tfaced

    @ Spliff

    Hahaha good one…

    What a huge difference it makes when your making shots.

    Just last week, they were writing off Jameer – too short, too slow, shitty passer, a scorer and not a playmaker. Lots of heart but not the stuff that can win championships.

    For a time, Nelson even resembled a slower, less-athletic version of TJ Ford but with a better outside shot – a jacker ballhog PG.

    But, damn, Jameer’s got cojones as huge as someone with Seminoma. He’s has fire and determination that Wince Carter won’t ever have even if they held his loved ones hostage at gun-point.

  • Brown

    Same goes for Darren Collison.

  • http://dime.com Jojo & Melo

    Sherron Collins (5’11″) must also have his chance in NBA ! He is really talented. A tough point guard in this draft.

  • Badger

    Jameer is also proof that teams need to be patient with point guards. It takes some of them about 4-6 years to “get it” — look at Chauncey, Mo Williams, Aaron Brooks, Devin Harris — so not every PG is going to come in killing it from day one.

  • Max

    Jameer is Chris Paul “lite” when he’s aggressive like that. He’s not always consistently aggressive but he’s showing it more and more.

    Def. one of the elite guards, his whole entire playoffs, minus one or two of the earlier Boston games, has been fantastic.