Jameer Nelson only played seven games for the Pistons, but it still felt like far too many.
The acquisition of Nelson wasn’t one without logic. Reggie Jackson was hopefully back soon after the trade deadline, but with the Pistons still in hopes for a playoff push, their point guard ranks felt quite lean. Did we really want to potentially look at a playoff series relying on Ish Smith, Dwight Buycks, and Jackson’s tenuous timeline? And dangling Willie Reed as bait is only going to get you so much in return.
At the same time, you knew you’d see more of Nelson than you’d want to. It was inevitable.
Stan Van Gundy’s history with Nelson meant that he had SVG’s trust. That means a lot to SVG.
Nelson didn’t look terrible with most of his season with the Pelicans. He actually averaged over 20 mintues per game, shot 36 percent from three, and mostly played the caretaker role on offense. But for whatever reason, once he came to Detroit he decided to get more aggressive as a scorer. His shot attempts increased from 8 per 36 minutes in New Orleans to 12 per 36 in Detroit. And his efficiency plummeted.
Under Van Gundy, Detroit has been where washed up point guards’ careers go to die. Steve Blake hasn’t played since his season in Detroit in 2015-16. Beno Udrih, who actually played mostly well for the Pistons, hasn’t played in the NBA since his year in Detroit in 2016-17.
Nelson may continue that trend.