A challenge in Brooklyn faces the Orlando Magic for Game Day 13 against a Nets team potentially featuring a newly signed James Harden.
To watch the game live or on demand here in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
The tip time from Brooklyn for tonight is 11pm here in the UK (6pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP ON A CHALLENGE IN BROOKLYN
Brooklyn enter the game having blown the NBA media up this week with their blockbuster trade for James Harden. Will he make a debut tonight? Harden is listed as questionable at this time.
Orlando are now on a 4 game losing streak. Issues Orlando have around injury and rotations are impacting heavily on any chance of victory.
Brooklyn have won their last 2 outings and now sit above Orlando in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are 5th whilst Orlando are 6th.
Brooklyn have won 5 of 9 games in their home arena this season. Orlando are 3-3 on the road. Season records see Orlando at 6-6, whilst the Nets are 7-6.
Orlando are on the second night of a back-to-back. The Magic lost heavily in Boston 97-124. In the game again there was a disparity of scoring from the 3 ball. Orlando totalled 21 points on 7 of 25 shooting. Boston hit 51 points from deep! Not for the first time this season Orlando’s inability to both shoot and to defend the three pointer has resulted in defeat.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE BROOKLYN NETS
Last season saw Brooklyn finish with 35-37 record, being 7th in the Eastern Conference. They were swept in the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs first round by the Toronto Raptors.
The Nets changed things up and brought in Coach Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni as Assistant Coach.
They come into the game as the NBA’s 5th ranked offensive team, 11th defensively. They are playing offense at pace and rank 6th in the NBA for team three point percentage. Brooklyn do however turn the ball over.
THE BROOKLYN NETS SQUAD
Coach Steve Nash has talent and star power to use. Unfortunately for the Nets one part of it is absent, namely Kyrie Irving (27.1 PPG), listed as due to NBA COVID protocols. Also out are Tyler Johnson (2.3 PPG), Spencer Dinwiddie (6.7 PPG) and Nicolas Claxton (0 PPG).
Last time out on Wednesday Brooklyn started Jeff Green (6.1 PPG), Kevin Durant (29.4 PPG), Bruce Brown (5.3 PPG), DeAndre Jordan (4.5 PPG) and Joe Harris (14.5 PPG).
From the bench came Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9.2 PPG), Chris Chiozza (4.3 PPG), Landry Shamet (5.4 PPG) and Reggie Perry (3.6 PPG).
If James Harden (24.8 PPG) is available that will give the Nets 10 active players. Harden faced Orlando a week ago registering a double-double with 15 points and 13 assists.
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: BROOKLYN NETS
Orlando played the Nets 4 times last season taking the series 3-1. In the Amway on January 6th, Orlando won by 89-101. Then on February 24th the Magic won in a brilliant comeback win 115-113 on the road. On July 31st in the bubble Orlando won 128-118, with great ball movement & efficiency. The two teams met again in the bubble on August 11th, Brooklyn securing a 96-108 victory.
Across the 117 regular season games played the Magic lead 66-51. Since season 2015-16, in the 18 games played Orlando have 11 wins.
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
THE MAGIC INJURY REPORT
There appears to be no change to the injury report as I write this. As a Magic fan it is not pleasant reading to see a squad of 17 reduced to 10 fit players. According to ESPN:
Markelle Fultz (12.9 PPG) has a torn left knee ACL, a season finishing injury.
Jonathan Isaac is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery.
Chum Okeke (3 PPG) is still absent from the rotations for multiple weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee.
Michael Carter-Williams (5.1 PPG) is out with a sore foot.
Evan Fournier (14.8 PPG) is listed as out for tonight with the back spasm issue.
Al-Farouq Aminu is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery.
Mo Bamba (5 PPG) is out of tonight’s game having not travelled with the team. This is due to NBA COVID protocols, Mo being subject of non-team contact tracing. His upcoming availability will be decided by the league.
THE MAGIC LINE-UP FOR A CHALLENGE IN BROOKLYN
Coach Clifford is likely to remain with a settled starting unit.
Last time out Orlando’s starting unit was Cole Anthony (9.9 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (9.8 PPG), Aaron Gordon (15 PPG), James Ennis III (4.2 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (21.9 PPG).
From the bench can come Terrence Ross (15.5 PPG), Khem Birch (7.8 PPG), Gary Clark (2.6 PPG), Jordan Bone (5.3 PPG) and Karim Mane (1.2 PPG).
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 6th
SEASON RECORD – 6-6
HOME RECORD – 3-3
ROAD RECORD – 3-3
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 2-1
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 6-0
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 4-0
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 27TH OF 30 (105.2)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 22ND OF 30 (111.3)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 16TH OF 30 (111.4)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 0-6
WHEN SCORING MORE THAN 100 POINTS – 6-0
WHEN SCORING 110 POINTS OR MORE – 4-0
AND WHEN SCORING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 2-0
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 100 POINTS OR LESS – 2-0
WHEN CONCEDING 110 POINTS OR LESS – 4-1
AND WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR LESS – 6-4
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 1-3
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY – 20 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT – 42 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
HIGHEST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 130 – GAME DAY 2 VS WASHINGTON WIZARDS
LEAST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 90 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
MOST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 132 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
LEAST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 83 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
Check out our podcast Penny For Your Thoughts !
In the latest episode we review what has been a tough week for the Orlando Magic. From losing Markelle Fultz to a season ending knee injury to a couple of losses to the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. Paul, Geraint and Mikey are joined by UK Magic fan Ross Midlane to discuss whether the Orlando Magic are a cursed franchise. We look ahead to the upcoming games and do the Magic need to find help at the point guard position.
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KEYS TO THE GAMES FOR A CHALLENGE IN BROOKLYN
Coach Clifford will know what the stats show for Orlando. The team are nose diving in every category. So far one big indicator for success has been the half time score. Lead and we win, trail and we lose! Orlando scoring is also key, hit less than 100 points and we likely lose.
The Magic have to find a way to be more effective both shooting and defending the three ball. Last night in Boston there was a 30 point difference, a game lost by 27 points. In Dallas there was a 42 point difference, a game Orlando lost by 14.
Coach Clifford will be planning for the eventuality of a James Harden debut. If he features it would be surprising to see instant chemistry with players other than Durant. Harden and Durant have previously played together as team mates in Oklahoma and for Team USA.
Orlando will be tired. Limited rotations are seeing big minutes for the 10 fit players. Add in the game being the second night of a back-to-back that has included travel and this one could be a tough game. However if the team can get it click on either end of the floor the win is available to be taken.
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM!
LET’S GO MAGIC!