Some say the summer between the first and the second year in an NBA’s players career is the most important. This is mostly because the players have had a taste of the NBA and know exactly what to expect the next season. Players take this time to improve their game and expand their skills.
Two weeks after the Magic’s season ended, the young guys on the Magic roster were back in the gym training together. Andrew Nicholson is one of the young players that stayed in Orlando for most of the summer to improve his skills.
After the Magic’s first preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night it was clear Nicholson had made several improvements during the offseason. Nicholson’s offensive game looked effortless. The Magic expect him to improve on both sides of the court throughout the preseason.
During the summer, Nicholson packed on some muscle with the goal of becoming a more physical player. Head coach Jacque Vaughn wants to see Nicholson’s new strength translate on the court and wants him to use his physicality wisely.
Not only did Nicholson pack on some muscle over the summer but he also extended his range.
Last season, Nicholson was very comfortable shooting 15-17 foot shots but during the summer he took it to the next level. He tested the uncharted territory during his eight games with the Canadian National team while the participated in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. In those eight games, the Canadian native shot at 45 percent from deep.
During his rookie campaign Nicholson did not attempt any three pointers. This may change if he keeps on working it. During the Magic’s preseason opener Nicholson was one-for-one from downtown. On Thursday, Vaughn said that when a player works hard on certain shots he will let them take those shots during games.
Nicholson was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the first round (19th overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft.
During his rookie campaign, Nicholson averaged 7.8 points per game (ppg.), 3.4 rebounds per game (rpg.) in 16.7 minutes per game (minpg.) over 75 games. Nicholson made his NBA debut on Nov. 2, 2012 against the Denver Nuggets, scoring two points, pulling down two rebounds, recorded one block and one assists in 11 minutes.
The young 23-year-old continued to come off the bench until mid December. On Dec. 19, 2012 forward Glen Davis sprained his left shoulder giving Nicholson the opportunity to start. In the 28 starts he made, Nicholson averaged 10.3 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and logged in 21.9 minpg.
The Magic will host its first preseason game on Oct. 11 against the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7 p.m. ET. They will also host the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. ET, the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. ET and the Pelicans on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. ET.
Single game tickets for Magic games through Dec. 31 are now available. Tickets are available online at www.orlandomagic.com. Magic fans can design their own ticket package through seven-game flex plans with lower bowl tickets starting at $20 per game.
The Magic will start its 25th ‘Silver Season’ season on the road. They will face the Indiana Pacers (Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. ET) and Minnesota Timberwolves (Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET) before returning to the Amway for the season home opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. ET.