Hampered by a sprained left foot, Jameer Nelson missed his first game of the season Friday night, sitting out as his Orlando Magic teammates faced the San Antonio Spurs at Amway Center.
The injury doesn't appear to be serious. Although Nelson was limping a bit Friday, he was not wearing a walking boot to protect his foot. Nelson received X-rays and underwent an MRI, and the exams revealed no fractures.
"I'm walking on my own two [feet]," Nelson said about an hour before tipoff. "I'm able to get around and do things. So I'm fortunate that it's not something serious. I just have to be smart about it and listen to the training staff and get the treatment that they want me to get and do things properly."
Nelson said he first felt a twinge in his foot during Tuesday night's win over the Atlanta Hawks and didn't say anything about the injury. He then tweaked his foot during the first quarter of Wednesday's victory over the Philadelphia 76ers and aggravated the injury during the second quarter.
His foot has felt a bit better since, but it's unclear when he'll return to the court.
With Nelson out, the Magic employed their fourth different starting lineup this season, starting Victor Oladipo at point guard, E'Twaun Moore at shooting guard, Arron Afflalo at small forward, Glen Davis at power forward and Nik Vucevic at center.
It was Moore's first start of the season.
Oladipo received his sixth start, but it was his first start without Nelson playing alongside him.
"I think he'll step up to the challenge," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said before tipoff. "That's what you have to do. You can't call in sick. You've got to come to work. It's a tough job, but I have no qualms or doubts that he'll be ready to play."
The Magic received a break against the Spurs because All-Star San Antonio point guard Tony Parker didn't play Friday.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Parker had an ankle injury.
But the 31-year-old point guard had played in each of the Spurs' first 15 games. Because Friday night's matchup was the first game in a back-to-back for the Spurs, it wouldn't be a surprise if Parker simply was rested against the Magic.
Cory Joseph replaced Parker in the lineup and received his first start of the season.
The Magic honored franchise co-founders Jimmy Hewitt and Pat Williams with a center-court ceremony between the first and second quarters. Some fans in the crowd gave them a standing ovation.
Nine years have passed since Nelson played college basketball at St. Joseph's for coach Phil Martelli, but their bond endures.
Martelli occasionally attends the Magic's games against the 76ers in Philadelphia to see Nelson.
On Thanksgiving night, Nelson and his family attended St. Joseph's game in the Old Spice Classic at ESPN's Wide World of Sports.
The Hawks lost to LSU 82-65, but seeing Nelson cheered up Martelli.
"He's a wonderful player, NBA All-Star, NBA captain ... but he's a way better human being," Martelli said. "He's really the epitome of what you would want in a coach-player relationship. He was my player for four years and now he's my friend for life."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun