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Nets head south to face Magic in Orlando

Minnesota Timberwolves v Orlando Magic Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Make it happen. The Brooklyn Nets played host to their crosstown neighbors, the New York Knicks, for a Sunday matinee at Barclays. Like all Nets vs. Knicks games, it was tightly contested and went down to the wire. Fortunately for Brooklyn, they were able to come away with a great three point victory on ABC. The W was their third in a row and it looks like the team is getting it into gear at the right time.

The opponent tonight will be the Orlando Magic. Jamahl Mosley has had a bumpy first year, but he’s trying to figure things out with his young squad. They took on the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday evening and the game went into overtime. However, the Magic fell short and lost by two points.

Where to follow the game

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

Injuries

No Joe Harris, Ben Simmons, or LaMarcus Aldridge. Seth Curry was a late scratch with ankle soreness and in the postgame, Steve Nash said Curry has been dealing with a calf and ankle issue since coming to the Nets. He’s listed as questionable. So is Cam Thomas who has a back contusion. Kyrie Irving is eligible to play.

Jonathan Isaac is out as he continues to recover from knee surgery. Bol Bol is out as he recovers from foot surgery. Jalen Suggs is questionable with a right ankle bone bruise. Gary Harris is questionable with a right knee contusion.

The game

Brooklyn won games one and two in November while Orlando grabbed game three in December. This is the last meeting between the two clubs this season.

The odds are in the Nets’ favor tonight, but with the stakes rising as we push to the finish line, they’ve got to do what they can to get the win. They also can’t look ahead to tomorrow night’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks as well. Need to handle what’s in front of you first before looking ahead.

With Curry out, Patty Mills had to move up a role and back in the starting lineup. Mills struggled on Sunday, going 2-11 from the field and 1-9 from three point range. Most of his looks were open, so maybe we can attribute it to one of those off nights every one has.

Wendell Carter, Jr. will look to give the Nets trouble tonight. WCJ gave Joel Embiid fits on Sunday evening and helped hold the big fella to 9-28 shooting from the field. Carter has slowly begun to expand his range on the court and while 33 percent from three point range isn’t much to write home about, it’s the highest mark of his four year career thus far. He’s also taking close to four attempts a night there as well, which is another promising development.

Nic Claxton and Andre Drummond have made quite the dynamic duo. Drum went 8-8 from the field and snagged ten rebounds in 26 minutes on Sunday while Clax scored 10 points, snagged five rebounds, got two steals and helped thwart a game-saving pass in the final seconds. The Nets may have found something here and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when Aldridge returns.

After a masterclass performance, Kevin Durant spoke about the current NYC mandates and said the following:

On Monday, KD clarified his initial remarks, saying:

We’ll see where things go from here.

While that situation sorts itself out, Durant will look to keep wreaking havoc on opponents. I mean, how can you not love this man?

HAHHAHAHAHAHAHA. KD’s 3-point shot wasn’t there on Sunday, but he got to the free throw line ten times and set up shop in the midrange. The beauty of being a three-level scorer is that even when one aspect of your game isn’t working, you can still make it happen, create good looks for yourself, and still dominate the game. It also helps when you’re a great passer and can dish out nine assists as well.

Special shouts to Bruce Brown. Brown has been a steady source of energy, hustle, timely plays, and great defense since the trade deadline and has been one of the team’s best players. Brown has been given some more things to do and has taken full advantage of the opportunity. Brown will probably get some time on Jalen Suggs this evening. It’s been a rocky NBA debut for the rookie, but he’s shown flashes of excellence. He also came close to joining one of the game’s most last month...

Player to watch: Markelle Fultz

Welcome back! After missing most of this season as he recovered from an ACL injury he suffered in 2021. He’s figured his way out after a bumpy start to his career, and as Josh Cohen of NBA.com noted, his game fits will with some of Orlando’s young talent:

All his teammates will benefit having him back, but the two that should thrive the most with Fultz running the show are Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr. Even though he’s just 20 years old and a rookie, Wagner is one of the league’s best at cutting to the hoop, and Fultz, proven before injuring his left knee last season, is among the best at spotting cutters for layups and dunks. Meanwhile, Carter’s screening is one of his main strengths, which a savvy pick-and-roll playmaker like Fultz needs to garner space.

As he’s just getting back in action, look for him to play around 20 minutes tonight as he continues to regain his footing.

Kyrie Irving is back on the clock and will look to get back on it. When we last saw Irving on the court, he locked down James Harden and scored a silky smooth 22 points in 30 minutes. If everything stays as it is now (see above), then we won’t be seeing him on the court until next week against the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat on the road. For tonight, Steve Nash and the coaching staff will have to lean on him a little bit more due to Curry being less than 100 percent and the team having a tough matchup awaiting them at home on Wednesday against the Mavs.

From the Vault

In sad news, legendary wrestler Scott Hall passed away at the age of 63 after suffering three heart attacks. Hall was one of the best and most influential wrestlers of his generation, so let’s take a trip back to 1995 and revisit one of the great ladder matches of all time:

More reading: Orlando Pinstriped Post

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