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Nets try to bounce back as they continue road trip in Orlando vs. Magic

Orlando Magic v Detroit Pistons Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Still on the road. The Brooklyn Nets took their world tour into Chicago on Monday night hoping to push their winning streak to six games, but the Bulls used an excellent fourth quarter to pull away and win by 23 points.

The opponent tonight will be the Orlando Magic. The team is one of the youngest in the league and are trying to find their way back into respectability. They helped their cause with an upset victory against the Utah Jazz at home on Sunday night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after 7.

Injuries

Nicolas Claxton is out but is back with the team and “ramping up,” per Steve Nash. Kyrie Irving remains out.

Jonathan Isaac is out as he continues to recover from his ACL tear. Michael Carter-Williams, Markelle Fultz, and E’Twaun Moore are out as well.

The game

When the Nets go without James Harden and Kevin Durant on the court, they can comfortably run things through LaMarcus Aldridge. LMA had another banner game on Monday, scoring a super efficient 19 points on 8-13 from the field along with seven rebounds and two blocks off the bench.

LMA and Patty Mills get the touches when the dynamic duo is on the bench, so if there are days like Monday when Mills is cold from the field, the Nets offense will have hard time pulling completely away from teams. Mills has been a valuable presence on the team,

The Nets will do battle with Wendell Carter, Jr. on the inside. Carter has expanded his range on the court in his first full season with the Magic and is taking close to four threes a night and making 39.5 percent of them. He and Mo Bamba will look to control the boards and keep Brooklyn away from the rim. The Nets are currently last in points in the paint, and since they haven’t been able to generate as much rim pressure as they’d like, it becomes a bit harder to score. For a multitude of reasons, I imagine that will change by the time the season is over.

We get to say hello to another top pick from the 2021 Draft class! Jalen Suggs has started every game at point guard this year, and while the shot isn’t there yet, he’s still young and has time to grow into the job.

Young teams always tend to have turnover woes, and the Magic are no exception. They’re tied for second in turnover rate, and with a veteran team like the Nets, giving away extra possessions could spell doom for rookie coach Jamahl Mosley and friends.

Another Nets nemesis is on the scene tonight. Terrence Ross has given Brooklyn trouble over the years and can sometimes heat up and go off. As the second oldest player on the club (Robin Lopez is the oldest at 33 years old), he can impart some experience and good guidance on the youngsters as they go on their NBA journeys.

Another night of the best show in town. Kevin Durant scored 38 points on Monday night as Efficiency Man scored all over the court and was the driving force of the Nets attack. With KD able to always get a good look where ever he is, it’s the job of his teammates to

Player to watch: Cole Anthony

The offense runs through Anthony, and he’s been making it work so far. He’s getting more shots up, and it’s been paying off to the tune of 20 points, seven assists, and six rebounds a night on a .448/.414/.842 shooting split. He does a good job of attacking off the dribble and averages around 11 drives a game. Orlando has to figure out what youngsters to keep, and Anthony is a good bet to be part of the Magic’s future. He also has some star quality...

James Harden finally got a foul call in his favor, but he’s not worrying too much about shaky calls any more. At this point, the best he can do is keep playing through it and hope that the calls swing in his direction. A great sign for the Nets is Harden has started to find his three point shot, and now that he has that part of his game back, he’ll have more opportunities to make life hell on defenders as he creates good looks for himself and his guys.

From the Vault

Midnight Marauders turned 28 yesterday, and I’m trying my best not to just play the entire album from start to finish right now. With that in mind, here’s one I’ve been vibing to recently

More reading: Orlando Pinstriped Post