Nicholson has pushed his way into the conversation of being Orlando’s most improved player what with his torrid start to this season. He had a dominant run of 18 points in the season-opener against Indiana, and he followed that up with solid showings against Minnesota (13 points and seven rebounds) and New Orleans (nine points and five rebounds). And by battering Brooklyn for 17 points and 11 rebounds – the third double-double of his career – he proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with on the low block.

Nicholson is third on the team in scoring (14.3 points per game) and second in rebounding (6.8 rpg.), and what delights coach Jacque Vaughn and Magic teammates is the way that Nicholson thrives with a somewhat unconventional approach. Because he isn’t a high-flyer or a overly physical player, Nicholson instead creates angles with exceptional footwork and alternating release points. That kind of heady play always brings a smile to the face of Vaughn, who has joked that Nicholson has ``an old man’s game.’’

``That footwork and step-through move (from Sunday night against Brooklyn), that’s all YMCA still. I still love the approach from him and I never said anything was wrong with (his style of play),’’ Vaughn said. ``It might not be glamorous, but at the end of the day you want that dude and you’d pick him on your YMCA team.’’



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