Cohen: Magic-Kings Storylines

By Josh Cohen
March 9, 2011


NELSON IS PIVOTAL TO MAGIC'S TITLE HOPES

You hear it a lot these days around Orlando Magic supporters and those that cover the team on a regular basis.

The Magic will go as far as Jameer Nelson takes them.

It’s a lot of pressure on one player to be considered this essential, especially on a team that has a mega star like Dwight Howard and other very potent role players.

But based on what we have witnessed this season, it just seems like Orlando flourishes when Nelson does.

On Wednesday – similar to other performances he has delivered this year including one several games ago against the Knicks – Mighty Mouse practically rescued the Magic from a near devastating loss and instead propelled them to a stirring victory.

Nelson enjoyed a spectacular fourth quarter – hitting some key jump shots and also finishing at the rim on a few drives – and concluded with a season-tying high 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field.

It’s just been a fascinating season for Jameer. He has hit game-winning shots, guided comeback victories and also been the subject of perhaps unnecessary scrutiny in games when he struggles.

All in all, though, Nelson is a warrior that can be counted on when things matter most.


RECALLING THE REMARKABLE RECORD

One day some NBA team will probably set a new record for most 3-pointers made in a game, but for now, the Orlando Magic’s record mark set in 2009 in the very building they played in on Wednesday is a very notable testimony.

Two seasons ago, the Magic connected on 23 bombs from long distance, which remains the most an NBA team has ever connected on. As a result, it’s worth reminiscing about considering it was against the Kings.

On that January night in northern California, Jameer Nelson buried all five of his 3-point attempts, J.J. Redick hit four from beyond the arc and Hedo Turkoglu sank three of them. A total of nine players contributed to that astonishing record.

Somewhat ironic, but earlier this season prior to December’s blockbuster trades, Jason Richardson and Turkoglu’s Phoenix Suns nailed 22 treys in a game against the Lakers. J-Rich fired in seven from long range and Hedo hit five of them.

In case you were curious, the Magic nailed 10 3-pointers on Wednesday.

Josh Cohen



A RETURN HOME FOR ANDERSON

It’s always special when a player gets the opportunity to compete in front of those that watched him during the early days before they reached the NBA.

On Wednesday, Ryan Anderson enjoyed the occasion of playing in his hometown. On the court that he once guided his high school (Oak Ridge in El Dorado Hills) to a state championship, Rhino heard plenty of cheers from the many supporters in attendance.

After registering seven points in Orlando’s victory, Anderson came back out of the locker room to greet all of those that showed up to watch him. He signed autographs and enjoyed conversation with many of his family and friends.

Earlier this season, Jameer Nelson got the opportunity to play in his neck of the woods of Philadelphia on his birthday.

Although Hedo Turkoglu wasn’t born or raised in Sacramento and since the Magic won’t be making any trips to Turkey any time soon, Wednesday was sort of a homecoming for the 11-year veteran.

Turkoglu was drafted by the Kings in 2000 and was one of the main players that helped transform Sacramento into a Western Conference power earlier in the century.