2013-14 Season Review: Andrew Nicholson
By John Denton
May 13, 2014
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic made great strides during the 2013-14 season, notching several wins against some of the best teams in the NBA and witnessing major improvements by many of their players.
Orlando had a seven-win improvement at the Amway Center this past season while beating Oklahoma City, Indiana, Brooklyn (twice), the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland. Undoubtedly, the high point in the season came in mid-February when Orlando beat OKC at the buzzer and outlasted Indiana in the fourth quarter within a three-day span. At the time, the Thunder and the Pacers were the leaders in the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively.
Moments like those showed that the future is bright for a Magic squad loaded with promising young players such as Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless and steadied by the veteran leadership of Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson.
Orlando is also expected to add to his talent base in the June 26 NBA Draft. Orlando has secured the third-best odds at getting the top overall pick. The draft order will be determined in next week’s (May 20) NBA lottery, a process in which the Magic have a 16.6 percent chance of winning. The team with the third-best odds has won the NBA Draft Lottery each of the past two seasons (New Orleans with Anthony Davis and Cleveland with Anthony Bennett) and teams have won the lottery from the third spot eight times in the past 17 years.
The Magic have won the NBA’s top overall pick three times in their 25-year history, ending up with franchise fixtures Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Dwight Howard.
Looking back on the 2013-14 season, we here at OrlandoMagic.com are going to spend the next three weeks breaking down each of the players currently on the Magic roster. We’ll look at their stats, highs and lows from the season, a favorite moment and analyze their role for the future.
So without further ado, here is today’s Magic player capsule:
NAME: Andrew Nicholson
JERSEY NUMBER: 44
HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 6-9, 250
POSITION: Power forward
NBA SEASONS: 2
2013-14 SEASON STATS: 76 games, 5.7 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 0.3 apg., 0.2 spg., 0.3 bpg., 42.9 percent FG, 31.5 3FG percent, 82.5 percent FT.
2013-14 SEASON HIGHS: 19 points (three times – most recent April 14 at Bulls); 11 rebounds (three times – most recent Dec. 9 at Grizzlies); 2 assists (twice – most recent March 1 at Heat); 2 steals (three times – most recent April 13 at Nets); 4 blocks (Dec. 9 at Grizzlies); 38 minutes (Dec. 3 at Sixers).
BEST MOMENT: Nicholson worked hard on his game last summer and it showed immediately in the opener as he pounded the Indiana Pacers for 18 points. All of the points came in the first 24 minutes of play as Nicholson made eight of his first nine shots and the first two 3-pointers of his NBA career. However, Nicholson played sparingly in the second half as coach Jacque Vaughn kept veteran Jason Maxiell in the game to guard Indiana power forward David West.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Nicholson took part in 14 off-court events this season. Three times, Nicholson met with special-needs children before games and in late December he visited with ill children at Florida Hospital. He conducted a Q-and-A with season ticket holders at Leu Gardens and he helped pack food for underprivileged school children in March.
FUTURE ROLE WITH THE MAGIC: Nicholson started the season well, showing off the expanded shooting range and improved muscle that he added through hard work in the summer. But as time went on, he seemed to lose his confidence completely and he took a major step back this past season. Nicholson’s 3-point shooting was spotty and the time spent on the perimeter seemed to sap the life out of his post-up game. A player who could give the Magic instant offense off the bench during his rookie season, Nicholson went 3 ½ months without a double-digit scoring performance from December to April. He did seem to find himself a bit in the last week of the season, finishing with three straight double-digit scoring nights. Nicholson must work again this summer to become stronger and tougher in the post and more reliable with his mid-range and 3-point shots. Vaughn has stated repeatedly that Nicholson’s playing time won’t go up until he can become a better defender and a more aggressive rebounder, so adding more strength and stamina are musts. The season ahead is a big one for Nicholson because he could very well be playing for his NBA life.