You don't have to watch hours of game tape or pore over pages of statistics to produce a scouting report on Jameer Nelson. The book on the diminutive Orlando Magic co-captain is simple: He's a scoring point guard who looks for his own shot as often as he looks to pass.
Wednesday night didn't change that perception, but it showed that Nelson can help the Magic even when his own shot doesn't fall.
Nelson bedeviled the Dallas Mavericks by dishing out 10 assists in the 101-76 exhibition victory.
"I don't know how much confidence I can get at this point in my life," Nelson said afterward, chuckling. "If I'm not confident in myself and in my game, I'm in trouble. I'm just out there just trying to turn the corner, get in the paint and make the right play, whether it's for myself to shoot or get the guys that make the big bucks the ball."
Nelson, who made just one of his eight shot attempts, impacted the game immediately.
Six of his assists came in the game's first six minutes.
He fed Quentin Richardson for a 3-pointer for Orlando's first basket. Twice, his passes set Dwight Howard up for easy dunks. His ability to drive -- and force defenses to account for his shot -- helped lead to a pair of treys from Vince Carter and a midrange jumper from Rashard Lewis.
"Jameer's playing great," Lewis said. "He's the point guard and he's leading us. Not only that, but he's been great on the defensive end and getting guys the ball and getting guys involved. He gets the offense running."
Wednesday's victory, before an announced sellout crowd at Amway Center, extended the Magic's preseason winning streak to 21 games. Dwight Howard finished with 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Vince Carter continued his stellar preseason play, scoring 20 points on an efficient 8-of-10 shooting night from the field.
The Magic's last preseason loss came on Oct. 6, 2008, but all those subsequent consecutive wins will mean little as the team attempts to reach the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.
But Nelson's performance this preseason might mean something.
He has now recorded 41 assists and just eight turnovers in his seven games. He'll be hard-pressed to duplicate that 5.1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio once the regular season begins, because opposing teams will have their play their best players more often and opposing defenses will step up their intensity.
On Wednesday, his backup, Chris Duhon, had five assists of his own.
"We've had pretty good point-guard play, but I think if you combine the two of 'em, that's probably the best we've had the entire preseason," coach Stan Van Gundy said.
Nelson's performance has to be a good sign from the Magic's perspective.
The Magic arguably will be the NBA's deepest team at point guard once Jason Williams recovers fully from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Van Gundy said he would have played Nelson longer than 23-plus minutes, but Van Gundy said Nelson slipped on the court and tweaked his groin. Nelson insisted after the game that he wasn't hurt.
Nelson watched the game's closing minutes from the end of the Magic bench, a towel wrapped around his back and shoulders.
He had earned a rest.