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Nets try to snap out of it vs Magic

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"You see me stylin'..."
"You see me stylin'..."
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Fall behind by a bunch, make a fourth quarter run, but still lose anyways. The Nets played host to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday and got beat up by 17 points. They've lost eight straight home games and fortunately for them, they're back on the road Saturday in Detroit (night two of a back-to-back). Nothing's easy around here.

Awaiting the Nets will be the Orlando Magic. Although they're one half game behind the Boston Celtics for eighth in the East, things haven't been going well recently. They've lost four straight games, including Wednesday's home game against the Indiana Pacers. This is the first night of a back-to-back. They head back home to play the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV (or not if you live in one of 900,000 Comcast households in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Connecticut), WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Nothing new for the Nets. Isn't the loss of Jarrett Jack, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough enough?

Elfrid Payton missed the last game due to an ankle injury and is questionable for tonight's contest.

The game

Let's go

2015-2016

Brooklyn

Orlando

Record

10-25 19-17

Pace

97.67 96.67

Offensive Efficiency

98 101.4

Defensive Efficiency

104.8 101.5

Turnover Rate

15.4 14.9

Assist Rate

16.3 17.1

Offensive Rebounding Rate

25 23.5

Rebound Rate

50.5 49.7

Free Throw Rate

22.8 21.4

Effective Field Goal Percentage

47.4 49.7

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

51.7 49.2

The Magic won the first game in November and the second one to close out 2015.

Off the court, the Magic look to be making a big change. The team is reportedly in the process of acquiring their own Developmental League in time for the 2017-2018 season. Having a D-League team of your own is essential when you're trying to find and develop players, and other teams around the NBA need to smarten up and get with the program. I could do a whole spiel on this, so I'm just gonna link to Satchel Price's article at the mothership from last fall and keep it moving.

Brook Lopez and Nikola Vucevic should be a fun matchup at Center. Vucevic has given Lopez tons of trouble this year and figures to give Brook a hard time tonight. He's a solid scorer in the low post, can step out and hit elbow jumpers, and is a solid pick and roll partner. Oddly enough, the same exact things can be said of Brook.

Both teams are hurting at the point guard position. As we know, Jarrett Jack is gone for the year with a torn ACL. With Sergey Karasev glued to the bench, Shane Larkin and Donald Sloan will have plenty of opportunities to showcase their skills the rest of the year. They had their trouble with Kyle Lowry, and with Payton hobbled, won't be facing one of the league's better passers at full strength (if he even plays). Payton is sixteenth overall in assists, averaging a touch under six per game. More importantly, he's cut down on his turnovers as compared to last year. He's still an awful shooter and it's part of the reason why the Magic are in the middle of the pack on offense. Victor Oladipo will see the majority of the minutes at the point, and while he's a change of pace from Payton, has struggled to find his shot this year.

I almost forgot Channing Frye was still in the league. He was taken eighth overall in the 2005 Draft (fun note: that was the last one that allowed high school players in) and has bounced around the league some in his 11 year career. Although he's averaging his fewest minutes per game since 2008-2009, he's managed to help his young teammates. His three point rate is a career high 72 percent and he's knocked 42.9 percent of his shots from deep. As he explained, it's made life easy for everybody around him:

"…I know what I’m doing is helping our team. My teammates, I know when they’re scoring, when they’re getting to the rack or they’re getting easy shots and not getting double-teamed, I know I’m doing my job.

"I’ve accepted who I am as a player."

It'll be Thad Young's job to chase Frye off the three point line when he's in the game.

Player to watch: Evan Fournier

It's been a rough start to the year for the Magic sharpshooter. In four 2016 games, he's gone 12-34 (3-19 from deep) from the field, including an 0-fer against Detroit on Monday night. Coincidentally, Orlando lost each game. Fournier is one of the team's best shooters, and if his shots aren't falling, it stalls the offense and makes life more difficult for Vucevic in the post.

When you're a decent player on a bad team, your name is gonna pop up in trade rumors. For Bojan Bogdanovic, the Charlotte Hornets are looking to see if he's available. I doubt anything happens on that front, but it's worth monitoring. Bogdanovic has room for improvement, but

As with most Nets games, defending the P&R will be essential. Brooklyn has been one of the league's worst defensive P&R teams this year, and any breakdowns/miscommunication will lead to open looks for Fournier. Fournier is averaging close to a point per possession on spot up shots, and even if a shooter is in a slump, if you give them enough good looks, they'll make you pay.

From the Vault

Every time is the right time for Tracy McGrady.

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