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Nets look to take two in Florida as they face Magic

New York Knicks v Orlando Magic Photo by Gary Bassing/NBAE via Getty Images

Who hit the turbo button? The Brooklyn Nets got to Florida riding a five game losing streak and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Miami Heat had jumped over them during Brooklyn’s slump and it looked like they would add one more L to Brooklyn’s ledger. However, the Nets found the secret stuff after halftime and bulldozed the Heat on the way to a dominant 29-point victory last night. That’s a way to bust a streak in style.

The opponent tonight has something in common with the Heat aside from being in Florida. The Orlando Magic’s last game was a home win against the New York Knicks. And like the Heat yesterday, the Magic have been off the past two days since their Knick win. Funny how things shake out.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after 6 PM.


No Ben Simmons. Seth Curry missed last night due to personal reasons. He’s not on the trip so we won’t see him tonight. Edmund Sumner left the game last night due to a right hip injury, but in postgame he said he was feeling good.

Jonathan Isaac is out for the season after a torn adductor. Jalen Suggs is questionable with a concussion. Franz Wagner is questionable with a left ankle sprain.

The game

Brooklyn won the first game way back in November. They wrap the season series up in April.

Nic Claxton has been doing a lot of amazing things recently, but this pass last night really impressed the heck out of me

Good decision-making is always a positive and seeing Clax continue to add to his game is a wonderful sign for his future. If you can count on him for 14/10/3/2/1 a night, you’re in good business.

The Nets have won the rebounding battle the past two games (!!), and tonight will be another good test for them. Day’Ron Sharpe has found his way back into the rotation and has had the best stretch of play in his career thus far. He and Claxton will do battle with Wendell Carter, Jr. on the inside. WCJ has found his way after getting away from the Chicago Bulls and is a good bet for 15 points and nine rebounds a night. He’s gotten better from three point range each season he’s been in the league and is shooting a career best 34.8% from downtown.

Orlando has a lot of talented youngsters on the club, and Franz Wagner is one of their shining stars. The second year player has taken a leap and has seen his numbers increase across the board this year.

Mikal Bridges put forth another solid outing last night as his 27 points, seven assists, and two steals paced the Nets attack. What made his game excellent was that he kept the Heat defenders off balance and got to the free throw line 11 times, making ten of them.

Player to watch: Paolo Banchero

Last time Banchero saw the Nets, he got to watch this fun bit of business

Special night from a special player.

Banchero is a good bet to win Rookie of the Year. He leads rookies in scoring and minutes, third in assists, and is fourth in rebounds. He’s a foul magnet, and being able to get to the free throw line is a valuable skill, especially as a young kid. Over at Orlando Pinstriped Post, Garrett Townsend took a look at the impressive rook and said:

Banchero isn’t arriving at these impressive numbers by luck. Instead, the smooth forward has a plethora of skills and attributes that facilitate such an outcome. He’s possessed of an aggressive personality on offense, a player who attacks the hoop with intent and isn’t afraid to send his body on a collision course into contact. Assisting with this is his nimble footwork and deceptively quick acceleration, often evident in a first step that shifts his immediate defender from directly in front to on his hip. Once someone is in that position the angles and lanes available overwhelmingly favor the offense, a fact which Banchero consistently puts to good use.

Further adding to his ability to get to the line is the manner in which the rookie elevates the ball once he gathers his dribble. With a secure grip he quickly gets the ball well above both dribble height and the level where an opponent’s hands would naturally sit, forcing the defender to either extend or reach to make a play. This sort of physical positioning frequently generates an advantage in those sequences where Banchero barrels into the lane, helping to ensure a frequency of favorable whistles for the rookie forward.

Good stuff!

Cam Johnson got back on track in a major way. He scored 23 points and made 5-of-8 from 3-point range. He’s struggled immensely from deep since coming over from the Phoenix Suns, but all it takes is one shot to go down for a shooter to regain his rhythm. When the Nets are able to break defenses down and force opponents to help, Johnson can spot up and cash in from three. With the Nets aiming to fire up as many threes as possible, they have to make sure they get good shots within the flow of the offense.

From the Vault

Later tonight, Succession begins its fourth and final season. Buckle up

More reading: Orlando Pinstriped Post