Game Preview: Celtics at Magic
Jameer Nelson spent his first 10 seasons with the Orlando Magic.
Last week, he played for two different clubs in a span of five days.
One of Boston's newest additions, Nelson returns to Orlando to face his former team for the first time Tuesday night as the Celtics try to hand the Magic a season-high fifth consecutive defeat.
Playing his first season in Dallas, Nelson wasn't scheduled to make his Orlando homecoming until the Mavericks visited Jan. 31. However, he quickly must prepare to return after being part of the deal that sent four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo to Dallas on Thursday.
Nelson averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 assists and made an All-Star appearance in 2009 for the Magic, who waived him in a salary-cap move in June. He then signed with Dallas, where he averaged 7.3 points with 4.1 assists while starting all 23 games before the trade.
In his Boston debut Sunday, Nelson had three points, three assists and two turnovers in 20 minutes of a 100-84 loss at Miami.
"I'm a leader no matter what, no matter what team I'm on, who's on the floor, or who's in the locker room," he told the Celtics' official website. "I take the challenge. I'm not a guy who runs away from adversity."
Though Nelson came off the bench Sunday, it would seem likely he'll step into Rondo's spot at the point. He said the system used by Boston coach Brad Stevens is similar to the one run by Stan Van Gundy, the current Detroit coach who guided the Magic from 2007-2012.
"Basically, you've got to come here with a clear mind and become brainwashed quickly," Nelson said. "It's a great group of guys here and the organization is one of the best. I've come here and been welcomed pretty warmly."
Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder, who came over with Nelson from Dallas, also made their Boston debuts Sunday. Wright had six points and three rebounds in 13 minutes while Crowder didn't score in seven for the Celtics (10-15), whose three-game winning streak ended after they shot 39.8 percent in their lowest-scoring game of the season.
"We're all guessing a little bit, especially with the new guys," Stevens said. "This is a little bit of an exploratory time for us. We don't get the chance to do that during practice. We have to do that during games."
Tyler Zeller had 22 points with eight rebounds for Boston, which has lost five of six on the road.
Zeller had 10 points and was one of six Celtics in double figures Wednesday as they shot 55.0 percent to beat the Magic (10-20) for the 12th time in 13 games, 109-92.
Boston's loss during that span - 93-91 on Jan. 19 - snapped a four-game winning streak at Orlando.
Among the NBA's lowest-scoring teams, Orlando has averaged 89.0 points during a skid that reached four games with Sunday's 96-88 home loss to lowly Philadelphia.
"We have to take care of this very quickly or a three- or four-game streak can turn into a 10-game losing streak very quick," center Nikola Vucevic told the Magic's official website after recording 19 points and 17 rebounds.
Victor Oladipo scored 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting after totaling nine and going 4 of 18 in the previous two contests. He's averaged 10.8 points and shot 27.7 percent in five games versus Boston.