Vaughn said that Nicholson has earned the trust of his teammates because he almost always makes the right play from the post. By nature, Nicholson is a scorer and his first instinct is usually to make a move and look to put the ball in the hole. But he’s also a willing passer and he understands the positive effects of spacing the floor. That’s something that veteran point guard Jameer Nelson can appreciate about Nicholson’s cerebral approach to the game.

``He has a skill set that not too many people still have. He’s a load down there on the block, and there are not too many guys like him who have the moves that he has,’’ Nelson said. ``It’s kind of like an old-school game and kind of awkward, but it’s very, very effective. And he’s a good jump shooter as well. As long as we keep going to him, we know he’ll get better.’’

One area where Nicholson has gotten significantly better is his shooting from 3-point range. A year after shooting better than 50 percent from the mid-range wings and nearly 70 percent on free throw line jumpers, Nicholson and Vaughn came up with the idea for him to work on trying to expand his shooting range to the 3-point stripe. Nicholson put in the work by hoisting hundreds of corner 3-pointers a day, and he’s become quite adept at hitting the shot so far.

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