How ‘bout them Nets? Winners of seven straight; never gonna lose again, right? Alright.
On Thursday night, the Nets take on the Orlando Magic. Brooklyn will once again be without Kevin Durant, but at this point - why rush it.
Man, these Nets are really good.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (21-12) vs. Orlando Magic (13-19)
WHEN: 7:30 PM EST
WHERE: YES (tv), WFAN (radio)
We got to see someone we haven’t seen in a while. Nicolas Claxton made his season debut, and looked pretty good out there in his 14 minutes. He was active, had a nice alley oop finish and did a good job within the Nets’ switching scheme. Now that he’s back, look for Steve Nash and the coaching staff to bring him up to speed and get him as many clean looks at the rim as possible. DeAndre Jordan will soak up most of the center minutes for the time being, so Claxton will have all the opportunity he needs to develop at his own pace. Our guy Alec Strum has more on Clax’s debut here.
In the meantime, he and DJ will be matched up with a player that has given the Nets plenty of trouble over the years. Nikola Vucevic put up 34 points with 10 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals the first time he saw Brooklyn and the All Star is a good bet to do damage once again. He can stretch the floor, but he does most of his damage in the paint (second in the league in post ups and shooting 69 percent on shots inside of three feet), which spells trouble for Brooklyn. The Nets are allowing teams to score 52 points per game in the paint, second worst in the league (only the Kings are worse). Outside of Vucevic, they might be getting a reprieve in that area as Orlando is second worst in the league at getting points in the paint. That said, we’ve seen the Nets let up career highs too many times this year for them to take their foot off the gas.
For more on the Magic, check out Orlando Pinstriped Post.