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Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic preview: Nets try to stop Magic from making franchise history

Bounceback for the Nets or revenge for the Magic?

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Washington Wizards v Orlando Magic Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Oh boy. The Brooklyn Nets had a chance to push their winning streak to four and get one step closer to a perfect homestand. however, they got lost in the matrix and let a shorthanded Charlotte Hornets team pick them off on Thursday night. Eek.

The opponent tonight has been outstanding as of late. The Orlando Magic have been arguably the most surprising team in the NBA this season as they’ve wowed fans and writers alike. They tied their franchise record for most consecutive victories last night with a W over the Washington Wizards. The streak is at nine and they look to break the record tonight.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after 7:00 p.m. ET. Noah Eagle has the call for YES.

Injuries

Jacque Vaughn will have an update on Ben Simmons as he has been out with injury the past few weeks. Lonnie Walker IV is out with left hamstring strain. Royce O’Neale missed last game with a left hip contusion. We’ll see if he’s back tonight. Dennis Smith Jr was out with a lower back sprain. He’s listed as probable.

Night two of a back-to-back so we’ll see who on the Magic sits. At the very least we know Wendell Carter Jr (left hand fracture) and Markelle Fultz (left knee tendinitis) are out.

The game

The Nets won the first game. As it happens, that’s the last time the Magic lost a game.

It’s a family affair! Noah Eagle will handle play-by-play duties for the first time with the Nets. Nets fans have blessed with excellent commentary teams over the years and it’s exciting to have Noah join the club.

I love an homage.

How do you bounce back after a disastrous loss? That’s what Jacque Vaughn and the Nets will have to figure out and fast. When you’re fighting your way up the standings, you can’t afford to let winnable games slip out of your grasp.

Nic Claxton continues to play at an All-Star level. The big guy was all over the stat sheet with a 22/14/2/2/1 line over 29 minutes. Claxton’s increased viability on offense and his ability to make stuff happen on handoff plays is a sign that he’s getting better and better by the game. On the inside, he’ll have to tangle with the duo of Goga Bitadze and Mo Wagner on the inside.

We get to watch a player that’s taking a big step into stardom. Franz Wagner has gotten better each season and has been one of the best players in the East this season. During the winning streak, Wagner is averaging close to 23 points on 53/30/83 splits. Wagner is a great finisher at the rim and crafty with his handle. Nice combination...

The Nets lead option will look to bring the energy tonight. Mikal Bridges went 9-22 on the night, and the Nets will need a bit more from their star against this ascendant Magic ballclub.

Player to watch: Jalen Suggs

It takes time when you’re trying to make it For Jalen Suggs, he’s been gradually finding his footing in the league as the Magic tried to figure things out. Suggs joined the Magic along with Franz Wagner in the 2021 Draft, and he’s improved each season. The shooting numbers are miles ahead of where they were last year, but his defense is what’s been wowing fans across the league.

That’s the good stuff!

Suggs’ 2021 Draft colleague will look to put on a show of his own. Cam Thomas is back, and not a moment too soon. It’s been a busy week for the LSU star as he made the media rounds, and he capped it off with a solid comeback outing of 26 points in 25 minutes off the bench. He was on a minutes restriction on Thursday, so we’ll see what the gameplan is for him tonight. If anything, the extra days off should buy him some more playing time if he’s up to it. The Nets are facing the third best defense in the league (by defensive rating), so buckets will be hard to come by. Luckily for the hometown faithful, Thomas can score on any and everybody in his way.

From the Vault

Monday’s a Brooklyn holiday! You wanna guess what it is?

Or

More reading: Orlando Magic Daily, SB Nation NBA, Nets Republic, Orlando Magic HQ