Jameer Nelson is in the midst of a terrible shooting slump, one that extends beyond this season. A closer look at his numbers shows that Nelson’s shooting has fallen off a cliff since his lone All-Star season, getting progressively worse every year.
During the 2008-2009 season, Nelson put together a career year, scoring 19.3 points per game with a 50.3 FG% and a sizzling 45.3 3P%. That earned him his only all-star appearance. For comparison’s sake, Nelson is scoring 13.4 points per game this season, but shooting only 39% from the field and 35.3% from three. (All stats from BasketballReference.com)
The problem is much more pervasive than a one year drop-off. From 2009-2014 his 2FG% has dropped steadily. His 3p% has been less consistent, but no more encouraging.
There are two distinct reasons for this drop off. The first is that Nelson isn’t driving the lane, and when he does he seldom shoots. In 2009 he took 27.5% of his shots less than 3 feet from the basket. This year that number is down to 19.7%. Even though he is driving less, he’s equally as effective at making those shots. In 2009 he hit 58% of his close field goal attempts, compared to 60% this year.
Nelson has moved his game to the perimeter. 53.2% of his shots this year have been from three, compared to 34.1% in 2009. Without another distributor on the floor, Nelson is taking more of his threes off the dribble. 52.1% of his three pointers have been assisted, down from 65.9% in his all-star year.
Do you think Jameer Nelson can reverse this discouraging trend? Or is it time to move on from their longest-tenured player? Let us know in the comments section below! Want more Magic? Subscribe to our newsletter!