Too much LeBron James. The Brooklyn Nets played the Cleveland Cavaliers close for much of the game on Sunday afternoon, but LeBron took over late and pushed his Cavs to victory. It pays to have one of the three greatest players in league history on your side, right?
The opponent tonight will be the Orlando Magic. It’s been another lost season for the Magic and they hope that this time they’ll get it right in the Draft. They’ve been off for the past couple of days after beating the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7.
Nothing here for Brooklyn. The Nets are as healthy and complete has they have been since Opening Night when Jeremy Lin went down. Isaiah Whitehead, Milton Doyle and James Webb III are all back from Long Island whose season is over.
Jonathan Isaac, Jonathon Simmons, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross are all out for the Magic. Tank you very much.
The Nets won the first meeting in October and third one in January while the Magic took the second meeting.
D’Angelo Russell getting more and more comfortable running the offense will be something to watch as the season wraps up. His shot hasn’t been there the past four games, but he needs to keep shooting. The Nets need him in attack mode as much as possible.
Nikola Vucevic has always given the Nets trouble throughout his career, and Jarrett Allen will need to put together a solid showing to slow him down. In his career, Vucevic has averaged close to 17 points and nine rebounds a night against the Nets. He’s a great scorer around the basket and has started to branch out to three point range. Brooklyn will live with him tossing up threes instead of wreaking havoc on the inside.
The Magic seem ready to tank the rest of the year. As of now, they’re sitting in the fourth spot in the NBA Draft and could move up into the top two if they keep losing, which apparently is their intent.
Player to watch: Aaron Gordon
Gordon might be the only good thing about this team. We all know about the dunks, but he’s worked to implement the 3-pointer into his repertoire. He’s taken close to six threes a night and is shooting a respectable 34.6 percent from deep. He’s taken on more offensive responsibility each year he’s been in the league and if they can surround him with some decent talent, he can be even better. On the other hand, he’s a restricted free agent this summer and the Magic may or may not match a big (say $20 million a year) deal.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will be matched up with Gordon. Like Gordon, RHJ started as a small forward but moved up to a position that better fits his skill set. Having Rondae healthy and on the court opens up so many possibilities for the Nets.
From the Vault
Amazingly, Opening Day in MLB is tomorrow (yes, tomorrow!). Unfortunately, Captain America (also known as David Wright) won’t be able to play for the Mets as he’s working his way back from a variety of injuries.
More reading: Orlando Pinstriped Post
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Orlando Magic Game Notes - Orlando Magic
- Nets look to finish strong vs. Magic - STATS/TSX
- Nets’ building block plans to be with the team for life - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets’ Isaiah Whitehead benefited from time in G League - Laura Albanese - Newsday
- NETS’ KENNY ATKINSON: ISAIAH WHITEHEAD, MILTON DOYLE, JAMES WEBB III WILL BE WITH US - Alex Labidou - Brooklyn Nets
- Often inconsistent, Mario Hezonja tries to solidify areas of improvement - Josh Robbins - Newsday