The Orlando Magic take on the Brooklyn Nets in a game the Magic must win if they are to remain mathematically in reach of the play-in game. It is undoubtedly another difficult task against the team from Brooklyn who are themselves seeking automatic qualification for the postseason.
- The tip off time in the Amway Center, Orlando is again 11pm for us U.K. fans (6pm in Orlando).
- To watch here in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
The Orlando Magic
- Orlando have a 31-43 record, remaining 13th in the Eastern Conference. This sees the Magic 1.5 games back of Indiana (12th), 2 from Washington (11th), however there is a large gap of 4.5 games to Chicago (10th). The Magic now have just 8 games remaining including tonight.
- Coming into the game the Magic have won 2 games straight and 4 of the last 10 played.
- On the season Orlando score 111.7 points per game (26th of 30) and concede 114.3 points per game (17th of 30).
- Last game saw Orlando secure a solid home court win over the New York Knicks by 106-111. Paolo Banchero put up a team leading 21 points, with Wendell Carter Jr and Franz Wagner each having 16. Sixth man Cole Anthony scored 18, whilst Caleb Houstan and Mo Wagner were also impactful from the bench. Markelle Fultz supplied a team leading 8 assists.
The Brooklyn Nets
- This is the second night of a back-to-back for the Nets. Coach Jacque Vaughn sees his team, having won 4 of their last 10 played. They have a very decent road record of 21-18.
- Last night the Nets snapped a five game losing streak, taking a win in Miami. Stunning the Heat with an emphatic 129-100 victory Brooklyn shot a 49.4 field goal percentage, making 18-of-40 three-pointers (45%). The also had 30 assists. Mikal Bridges led all scorers with 27 points and 8 assists, getting support from Cam Johnson’s 23 points. Spencer Dinwiddie produced a 15 point, 9 assist and 7 rebounds performance. Nic Claxton dropped a 14-points-10-rebound double-double. The Nets scored as a team, getting solid contributions from the bench also.
- The Nets are seeking automatic qualification into the playoffs. This result in Miami the Nets leapfrog the Heat into 6th in the Eastern Conference, with a 40-34 record. New York are 5th with a 42-34 season, with Miami 7th on 40-35.
- The Nets score 113.5 points per game (19th of 30) and concede 112.7 (13th of 30).
Squad And Injury News
- Franz Wagner exited the Knicks match early in the fourth quarter with a left ankle sprain. He is day-to-day and listed as a game time decision.
- The Magic will possibly again be without Jalen Suggs (concussion). His status has been upgraded to a game time decision also.
- For Orlando Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) is out for the season.
- For Brooklyn both Ben Simmons (knee) and Seth Curry (personal) are out.
The Big Picture As The Orlando Magic Take On The Brooklyn Nets
- At this point the Magic are gaining valuable experience as they continue to try and make the postseason. Though the chance remains remote there is benefit from playing meaningful games and winning in tight matchups.
- 31 wins for the season sees the Magic having attained 9 wins more than the 2021-2022 campaign. That is the largest win increase in the Eastern Conference this season. Orlando has 8 games remaining including tonight’s fixture.
- The head-to-head of 125 regular season games sees the Magic leading by 68-57. The Nets have been bossing recent encounters, winning 6 of last 8 games played. The teams have met just once this season, the Nets winning 102-109 in Brooklyn. That game in late November will see both teams looking very different. For Brooklyn the now moved on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving dominated the ball and scoring. Orlando were without Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony and Wendell Carter Jr.
- The Nets over the past 10 games have averaged 24.5 assists per game, shooting a field goal percentage of 45.6%. In that time they have taken on average almost 38 three-point-shots each game making 37%.
- Orlando will first plan for Mikal Bridges and Spencer Dinwiddie. Bridges is averaging 27.1 points per game across their last 14 games. In that same period Dinwiddie is averaging 18.9 points and 9.7 assists.
- Paolo Banchero continues to lead the Magic scorers with 20 points per game. He is followed by Franz Wagner (18.7), Wendell Carter Jr (15.6), Markelle Fultz (14) and Cole Anthony (12.7).
Three To Watch As The Orlando Magic Take On The Brooklyn Nets
- Cole Anthony has had a March to remind fans of what he is capable of producing. Across 12 games he has recorded per game 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists. In the period, the most recent 5 games sees his points per game increased to 17.2 and rebounding to 6.2. He is having career best stats in terms of percentage for field goals, three-pointers and free throw. His efficiency stats are hugely improved as his shot volume drops but selection becomes more considered. Cole is having a huge impact as he leads the team from the bench. As per part of our latest Penny For Your Thoughts podcast Cole’s third year figures are equivalent to those produced by Jalen Brunson.
- Cameron Johnson came to the Nets as part of the trade that saw Kevin Durant exit. In the past 4 weeks he has played 13 times scoring an average of 16.2 points. He leads the team in steals per game through that period also. He is a solid three-point shooter, who has rapidly become an integral part of the Nets starting unit at power forward.
- Nic Claxton is quietly working on his game. Having become the starting centre for Brooklyn he is having a career year in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game. He is second in the NBA for the two-point field goal percentage and total blocks, third in blocks per game, whilst also rating highly in statistical categories related to rebounding.