By John Denton

The best feeling from Wednesday’s preseason opener for Orlando Magic forward Andrew Nicholson wasn’t necessarily seeing the ball repeatedly go through the hoop, but instead it was the knowing that all of his offseason work was paying off.

Of the Magic’s bevy of players who dedicated their summers to individual improvement, Nicholson was among the most loyal with the way he went to work on bettering his body and improving his jump shot. From last April to October, Nicholson has either been working at the Magic headquarters or with the Canadian National Team, and now that dedication is showing itself in major ways.

Not only are his arms and chest noticeably bigger, but Nicholson’s frame going from 234 pounds to 248 pounds better allows him to hold his position when posting up or defending down low. And a jump shot that was fairly reliable from 17 feet last season has now been extended to 23 feet, allowing him to make the first 3-pointer of his NBA career in Wednesday’s exhibition opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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