Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets
The Orlando Magic are in Brooklyn New York tonight to take on the Nets. After getting a win on opening night Orlando will look to begin a winning streak tonight. The task is a little easier with Brooklyn missing a key player.
The Orlando Magic pulled out a victory on opening night and are now on to the next challenge. The Brooklyn Nets recently learned that their starting point guard Jeremy Lin will be out for the season. Lin was diagnosed with a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee after an injury during the Nets season opener. With Lin out of the lineup, the Nets are a little less dangerous on offense. A team that was already figured to be at the bottom of the league just got worse and the Magic should benefit greatly. Here are a few things to watch out for in tonight’s game.
Coach Frank Vogel went with a nine-man rotation in Orlando’s first game of the season leaving at least 1 starter on the court at all times. Veteran acquisitions Arron Afflalo, Marreese Speights and Shelvin Mack were kept on the bench along with Mario Hezonja. Barring injury or foul trouble by one of the first 9 guys on the depth chart, this rotation will see a majority of the minutes tonight and going forward. However, tonight the Magic are playing the first game of a back-to-back. As a result, Vogel will most likely go deeper into the bench to preserve energy for tomorrow.
Simmons Handling the Ball
While most of the second unit on the court, Jonathon Simmons was the primary ball handler for the Magic. Vogel allowed Simmons to dictate the offense by penetrating and creating for others. Simmons does a good job of getting into the paint. His athleticism and ability to finish at the rim causes the defense to collapse on Simmons when he drives. The first unit has a bunch of scoring options in Fournier, Vucevic, Ross and Gordon. The second unit is more defensive minded with Simmons being the best option for consistent points. This is exactly the type of freedom Simmons signed up for this summer. For the moment Simmons is not in the starting lineup, but he is the lead man in the second unit. Look for the offense to run thorugh Simmons with the second unit on the court.
No More Jitters
Johnthan Isaac completed his first NBA regular season game on Wednesday. The rookie did exactly what was expected of him, rebound and play defense. Isaac finished with 4 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Isaac admitted after the game that he was so nervous that he forgot to put on his jersey before leaving the locker room. As the season progresses Isaac will get more comfortable and make an even greater impact on the game. Look for Jonathan Isaac to settle into his role as a defender and rebounder for Orlando.
The Orlando Magic face the Brooklyn Nets tonight at 7:30pm.