On Game Day 31 a depleted Magic face a depleted Brooklyn on the Nets home court. For Orlando it is the second night of a back-to-back and a trip to the Barclays Center is a daunting challenge.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
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The Game Day 31 Match-Up As A Depleted Magic Face A Depleted Brooklyn
Friday 17th December – Miami Heat 115 – 105 Orlando Magic
Magic Top Performers – Franz Wagner shone as Orlando’s point guard, recording 27 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and committing just one turnover! Chuma Okeke had his best game of the season, recording a double-double of 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block and 6 steals. Gary Harris added 20 points. Robin Lopez hit 18 points and 7 rebounds.
Thursday 16th December – Philadelphia 76ers 105 – 114 Brooklyn Nets
Nets Top Performers – Kevin Durant led all scorers with a 34 point and 11 rebound double-double. He also added 8 assists. Blake Griffin and Nicolas Claxton both had 17 points, whilst Patty Mills contributed 14 points.
Orlando’s record is now 5 wins and 25 losses. The Magic stay 14th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won just the 1, whilst being on a 7 game losing streak. Orlando have now a terrible 14 losses in 15 games. The home record stands at 2 wins of 12 games played, whilst on the road it is 3 wins in 18 played. In points per game the Magic score 101.4 whilst conceding 111.9. In offensive rankings Orlando remain at 28th, but defensively have now dropped to 29th.
The Brooklyn Nets have a record of 21 wins and 8 losses. The Nets are top of the Eastern Conference by 3 games. Of the last 10 games played Brooklyn have won 7, being on a 4 game winning run. The Nets home record stands at 10 wins of 15 games played. In points per game the Nets score 110.3 whilst conceding 106.5. In offensive rankings Brooklyn are 8th and 5th for defensive statistics.
Head-To-Head – The Brooklyn Nets
These two teams have played 122 regular season games but never met in the playoffs. The regular season record sees Orlando ahead 67-55.
Orlando and Brooklyn have played twice this season. On Game Day 12 in the Amway Center, it was not a fun game for Magic fans! The Nets ran out winners by 123-90. A 30-point performance from Kevin Durant, on 11-of-12 shooting catapulted them to victory. James Harden also notched a triple-double. Game Day 16 in Brooklyn saw the Magic with a 19 point first half lead, after Jalen Suggs erupted for 17 first quarter points. But the Nets dominated the second and third quarters on their way to beating the Magic 115-113 with a lot of help from officials.
Last season Brooklyn won the three game series 2-1, each team winning on home court. The 2019-20 season had seen Orlando take it 3-1. No season has been a swept since 2016-16.
Our Opponents – The Brooklyn Nets
Head Coach Steve Nash is facing a monumental challenge as he responds to the Nets injury list.
ESPN show the following. Kyrie Irving; through his decision to not have the COVID-19 vaccine is unavailable to play. Out through injury are Kevin Durant, Patty Mills and Joe Harris. Nic Claxton and David Duke are both questionable. Out through COVID protocols are James Harden, DeAndre Bembry, Jevon Carter, Paul Millsap, Bruce Brown, LaMarcus Aldridge, James Johnson
Brooklyn have only Blake Griffin available from their last starting unit.
They will also have Langston Galloway, James Ennis III, Kessler Edwards, Cam Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
Look away now if you are easily upset! ESPN does not make for good reading and throws serious doubt on how competitive the Magic can be across a back-to-back.
Cole Anthony is questionable for tonight with a sprained right ankle.
Wendell Carter Jr went down in the second quarter after banging knees, requiring a wheelchair to get back to the locker room. He is doubtful for tonight.
Mo Bamba has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game. He also sprained his right ankle in LA and missed the Atlanta game.
Terrence Ross has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
RJ Hampton has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Moe Wagner has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Ignas Brazdeikis has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Markelle Fultz is still out. On Friday 10th December he went through his first full practice since the ACL injury in the left knee.
Jalen Suggs is out with a fractured right thumb. He will be out for “an extended period of time” and is to be reevaluated in the next week.
E’Twaun Moore remains out with a sprained left knee.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates from a left knee ACL injury that saw him miss all of last season. He is said to be making great and steady progress, but is not yet cleared for contact.
The Orlando Lineup As A Depleted Magic Face A Depleted Brooklyn
The availability of Anthony is a question for Coach Mosely to consult with his medical staff about. His appearance would boost a struggling Magic team and inject much needed quality.
Last Game Starting Lineup – Franz Wagner (PG), Gary Harris (SG), Chuma Okeke (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF), Robin Lopez (C).
Bench Unit –Mychal Mulder, Aleem Ford, Hassani Gravett, BJ Johnson and Admiral Schofield.
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As A Depleted Magic Face A Depleted Brooklyn Ours Final Thoughts On Game Day 31
Simply put this game will come down to which team can adapt quickest to the disruption in rotations. For Orlando there is the added issue of having played last night and having to travel to New York for the game tonight. Tiredness will be factor after Okeke played 38 minutes, Harris and Wagner 36 and Lopez 32 minutes. It will also be the 4th game in 5 days for the four Lakeland players just signed to 10 day contracts.
Spirit will not be an issue for Orlando and this game can go any way.
Let’s Go Magic!