It's getting darker. The Brooklyn Nets came in to Saturday evening's game hoping to snap their losing streak and get 2020 off to a good start. Unfortunately for them, they fell short on both as the Toronto Raptors pulled away late and came away with a double digit victory.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7 PM.
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving are out. More on Irving in a bit. Nicolas Claxton is probably. Chris Chiozza, the new two-way, won’t play. Caris LeVert is out, but he did make his return on Saturday. It’s abut injury management ahead of a back-to-back.
Al Faroq Aminu, Michael Carter Williams, and Jonathan Isaac are all out.
Irving gave a status update before Saturday's game, and you can read about it here. Long story short, the guys will have to figure it out ASAP while he heals. Gotta sink or swim on your own.
Things are about to get a lot tougher for Orlando. After Wednesday's game against the Waahington Wizards, they'll be on the road for six games out west.
This is the first night of a back-to-back for the Nets, one of a league-low 11 this season. They come home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday evening.
I don't care who you play, you're not winning anything when you turn it over 24 times in a game. Things like that can't happen and when you're a team as depleted as Brooklyn is, you can't afford to give away possessions.
Having Caris LeVert back should make things a bit easier for the Nets long-term. He only played 15 minutes, but did make 5-7 from the field, including both of his 3-point attempts. As Garrett Temple's offensive struggles deepen and the further Levert gets from the injury, he'll be back in the upper 20s to 30s in terms of minutes a game. With this being a back-to-back, it's not completely surprising to see him out. With him out, Garrett Temple and Joe Harris will have to pick it up.
The “Brooklyn Heights” (yes, I'm going with that nickname for now) duo of Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan will have their hands full with Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic is taking more three pointers this season, which has caused his overall shooting percentages to dip some. Even still, he's one of the better big men in the East and someone that has given the Nets a lot of trouble over the years.
Player to watch: Markelle Fultz
Considering where he was two years ago, the fact that Fultz is a solid contributor on a playoff team is a minor miracle. Over at Orlando Pinstriped Post, Zach Oliver made note of Fultz's good play this year:
He’s shown a willingness to drive and get to the basket, and has finished acrobatically, and through contact time and time again. He’s shown an increased willingness to take his jumper, and buried a huge one late Sunday, showing another facet of his game that’s rounding back into the form that made him the number one pick int he draft.
Sometimes, a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered. (Or a departure from Philadelphia!)
Spencer Dinwiddie will keep running things as the starting PG. The tricky thing about being in charge is you have to keep morale up when times are hard. This recent losing streak definitely qualifies and we'll get to see what Dinwiddie can conjure up. The Nets were in a similar position last season and managed to turn things around. Maybe lightning will strike twice?
From the Vault
Yeah, we can start the week with Jason Kidd.
More reading: Orlando Pinstriped Post
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Orlando Magic Game Notes - Orlando Magic
- Nets not looking for Caris LeVert to save them alone - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving’s Nets injury saga has been draining - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets ‘big picture’ is about championships ... just not this season - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- In midst of Nets’ skid, LeVert’s return a positive - Laura Albanese - Newsday
- NETS VS. MAGIC: BROOKLYN SEEKS TURNAROUND IN ORLANDO - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Magic turn to versatile, unselfish Khem Birch to help fill in for loss of Jonathan Isaac - Roy Parry - Orlando Sentinel