Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Orlando Magic took another hit to their depleted roster Sunday night when Jameer Nelson collided with Kenneth Faried early in their loss to the Denver Nuggets, forcing him to leave the game for good due to a left-calf contusion. However, as John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports, Nelson is "good to go" for Wednesday's home finale against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Orlando played Sunday's game without three starters: Nelson left after just two minutes, while Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard sat out to recover from facial surgery and back surgery, respectively. Chris Duhon and Ish Smith took Nelson's place, combining for nine points on 4-of-13 shooting with five assists and two turnovers. Ty Lawson and Andre Miller, their Denver counterparts, combined for 19 points, 21 assists, and just three turnovers.
Nelson, a former All-Star, is arguably Orlando's best healthy player. He's averaging 11.9 points and 5.6 assists on the season, shooting 43 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent on three-pointers.
Wednesday, which the Magic have designated as Fan Appreciation Night, pits Orlando against the league-worst Bobcats, who've lost 21 straight games. A projection by Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus gives Orlando a 100% chance of winning the game even without Howard and Turkoglu. With a victory, Orlando would clinch the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and, in turn, a first-round playoff matchup against the Indiana Pacers.