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Orlando Are Seeking A Win In Brooklyn

Orlando are seeking a win in Brooklyn tonight on Game Day 16 in the Barclays Center as the Magic do battle with the Nets.

The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 12:30am here in the UK (7:30pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).

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The Matchup For Game Day 16 As Orlando Are Seeking A Win In Brooklyn

Last Game

The Magic won as a team in the Madison Square Garden last time out on Wednesday night. In beating the New York Knicks 104-98 Orlando delivered a team performance. Locked in on defence, effective on offence, limiting fouls and to an element turnovers saw the Magic competitive throughout against a much fancied Knicks team. New York could not breach the paint through a swarming and disciplined Magic defence. Orlando found big plays at times where they were needed.

Terrence Ross led the Magic with 19 points from the bench. Cole Anthony secured a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, adding 7 assists and made a steal. His shooting wasn’t accurate, but it was valuable. Wendell Carter Jr made an impact on the stats, despite getting into early foul trouble that limited his minutes. That saw Chuma Okeke play increased minutes and have a huge defensive game against Julius Randle. Franz Wagner gave the Knicks trouble all game with his positional intelligence and defensive determination, finishing with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Mo Bamba also recorded a double-double with a 12 point, 12 rebound game. Jalen Suggs had a strong game where not everything went right, but the majority did.

The Nets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night by 99-109. James Harden led with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. They also got 20 point-plus performances from Kevin Durant (23pts), Patty Mills (21pts) and LaMarcus Aldridge (24pts). Brooklyn shot almost 46% from the field and 37.5% from deep. Brooklyn led by 21 points at the half. Cleveland were under strength but pushed the Nets hard through the second half but on homecourt the Nets held for the win.

The Season So Far 

Orlando now have a 4-11 losing record and remain last in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn sit second in the East with an 11-5 record. The Magic have won 3 of their last 10 games played, Brooklyn have won 8. For Orlando the win in New York broke a 3 game losing streak.

Brooklyn as we saw a week ago run their offence through Kevin Durant. They like to play at a fast pace. Surprisingly for Brooklyn scoring had been an issue going into the previous meeting with Orlando. However since that meeting the Nets average points per game has grown to 107.9, up by 2.9 points per game. In that period they have also brought their average points per game conceded down to only 104.1. Brooklyn take the least shoots per game of any team but have one of the best field goal percentages, reflecting he accuracy we were the victims of. Largely due to that accuracy the Nets are last for offensive rebounds. Defence is not a weakness, making it hard for teams to score and being elite at defending the three.

Orlando’s scoring average is now 100.2 points per game. The gap between those scored and points conceded has reduced, with the Magic conceding an average of 109.3 points per game. Statistics still do not make for good reading, though improved thanks to the Knicks win. The Magic offensive and defensive ratings are poor, 27th and 26th of 30. Stats for steals made and against, turnovers, two-pointers attempted, two-pointers made, total field goals made, field goal percentage, opposition offensive rebounds and opponents scoring on second chances are all amongst the worst in the NBA.

Head-To-Head – The Brooklyn Nets 

These two teams have played 121 regular season games but never met in the playoffs. The regular season record sees Orlando ahead 67-54.

Orlando and Brooklyn played a week ago 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.

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 sweep since 2016-16.

Our Opponents – The Brooklyn Nets 

Head Coach Steve Nash had to make adjustments after the Nets lost star point guard Kyrie Irving through his decision to not have the COVID-19 vaccine.

As I write the Brooklyn are listed on ESPN as having some significant other absences. Joe Harris is out with a sprained left ankle. Paul Millsap is out for personal reasons. Nic Claxton is still out with an illness.

Brooklyn last used a starting unit of James Harden (PG), Patty Mills (SG), Bruce Brown (PF), Kevin Durant (SF) and Blake Griffin (C). 

From the bench was support from LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Bembry, Jevon Carter and James Johnson.

The Orlando Magic Injury Report

At the time of writing ESPN shows Orlando as having the following issues.

Remaining day-to-day Jalen Suggs is questionable for tonight with a quadricep injury.

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.

Markelle Fultz is still out after last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery. 

The Magic Lineup As Orlando Are Seeking A Win In Brooklyn

Coach Mosely regained the continuity in New York of the starting 5 as Jalen Suggs returned. The Coach will retain that team he has favoured all season if Suggs is fit. That unit has been Jalen Suggs (PG), Cole Anthony (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C).

Chuma Okeke, Terrence Ross, Moe Wagner, Gary Harris and RJ Hampton form the core from the bench. 

Robin LopezMychal Mulder and Ignas Brazdeikis are also all available.

If Suggs is unfit expect Gary Harris to start at shooting guard with Cole Anthony handling the point guard duties.

Check Out Other Orlando Magic U.K. Content

On each game day make sure to check Twitter and Facebook to play along with our Magic Moments competition. Simply comment with your prediction for each of five questions we will ask on that night’s game. At the end of the season we will send out a prize to whoever tops the league with the most correct predictions.

Be sure to subscribe to Orlando Magic U.K. YouTube channel for episodes of our podcast Penny For Your Thoughts.

Final Thoughts As Orlando Are Seeking A Win In Brooklyn

If the Magic are to pull off a win in Brooklyn, Orlando will need to do a better job of containing the Nets’ superstar pairing of Kevin Durant and James Harden. To limit them is something every team in the NBA wants to be able to do but few effectively achieve. Franz Wagner will need to continue to bring his best defensive effort. The presence of Suggs on the defensive end is hugely important and he will be a huge absence if passed as unfit.

For the Magic offence Cole Anthony is proving to be the catalyst. It is hard to see Orlando winning if Cole does not get points. The scoring contributions of Franz Wagner, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr will be needed, including the improved shooting from range. If Brooklyn have a defensive frailty it is in conceding points from inside the arc and paint.

As against the Knicks; Orlando must be engaged again throughout this game on both ends of the floor. The ‘bell ringing hustle plays’ will be needed again. Defensively players will need focus for the full game. Any mistakes on defence or in handling the ball will be punished.

Let’s Go Magic!