Denton: Nicholson Giving Magic Offensive Boost

   

Monday’s game was emblematic of Nicholson’s efficiency this season. He’s second on the team in field goal percentage (52.1 percent) and third in 3-point percentage (36.8 percent) after adding the long-range shot to his arsenal this season. He’s shooting 63.6 percent on point-blank shots at the rim, while also converting 61.5 percent from the left block and 66.6 percent from the left block. As for his 3s, he’s made six from the left corner and seven from the right corner.

Nicholson added nearly 15 pounds over the summer and that added muscle has helped him inside defensively and on the glass. According to NBA.com, he is grabbing 58 percent of all rebound chances available to him and 35.7 percent of contested rebounds – numbers that stack up with some of the better rebounders in the league. Also, he’s grabbed 11 rebounds in a game three times this season.

Vaughn has made it abundantly clear to Nicholson that he must rebound if he’s going to play major minutes.

``I’m pretty comfortable offensively because that’s one of my strong points,’’ he said. I’m just trying to provide an offensive lift and keep rebounding too to help us on that end.’’

The Magic will enter Wednesday’s conclusion to their six-game, 12-day road trip riding a six-game losing streak. Shooting woes the past two games and defensive issues early in the trip have tested the resolve of the Magic, but Nicholson knows that Orlando still has plenty of fight left in it.

``We know that it’s a long season and we have to stay together but we’re the only guys that we’ve got. As a team, we’re collectively doing a good job of keeping our heads up and moving on to the next game,’’ Nicholson said. ``We’re still going in the right direction and pulling together. Yeah, we are on a losing streak, but at the end of the day it is a long season. We just need to focus on the next game and try to get a win.’’

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