Nicholson, 23, was the 19th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, and followed that up with a productive rookie season. He was picked to play in the Rising Stars All-Star Game at midseason because of his consistent ability to score. He averaged 7.8 points a game as a rookie with 28 double-digit scoring games and two 20-point performances.
Frustrated at how he was at times picked on defensively as a rookie, Nicholson went to work on his body almost immediately after last season. Two weeks after the Magic ended the regular season in April, Nicholson was at the Amway Center on a daily basis. A typical day, he said, included breakfast, 90 minutes of weightlifting, a couple of hours of agility and court work and then a shooting session where he would stay until he buried a couple of hundred jump shots.
Already throughout Magic training camp and one preseason game, Nicholson notices a major difference in his ability to better scrap for rebounds and defend on the low block. His personal improvements have convinced him that he will always use the summer as a means to better his game.
``Right at the end of the season I figured there was a lot of work to get done. The rest of the guys were all going to be here, so I wanted to be a part of the movement,’’ Nicholson recalled. ``I’m definitely a lot stronger than last year, defensively and offensively, by holding my position and boxing out. It does feel a bit different boxing guys out and holding them off.’’