Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic vs Brooklyn Nets

The second meeting between the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets in just four days almost produced the same exact score. This time, Orlando came out on top as they held on to defeat the Nets 125-121 in the Amway Center.

The Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets are two of the top five scoring teams in the NBA. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that this was a high scoring game. The Magic had a tough time keeping Brooklyn out of the paint. This was also an issue in their last meeting when Brooklyn scored 60 points from in the painted area. This time Orlando was able to keep the total down to 50, still a little high but getting the win makes it easier to deal with. The biggest reason why Orlando gave up so many point in the paint were second chance opportunities given up by the Nets cleaning the offensive glass.  Nevertheless, Orlando was able to pull out the win.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rUuIQe-JTiM

Career Night

Aaron Gordon exploded in his return back to the court. Gordon poured in a career high 41 points while going 5 for 5 from three point range. Gordon also collected 14 rebounds in the process. Aaron Gordon has been showing signs this season that he has finally taken the jump. His game began to blossom during the preseason and last night Gordon was in full bloom. Gordon played with a confidence and a swagger that we have not seen from him in prior seasons. His confidence has steadily grown this season and will continue to do so. Being the first game back from a sore ankle it would be understandable to easy him back into the lineup. Gordon was not having it. He shot the ball well and he moved great without the ball to get open. Both of those attributes came together in crunch time as Gordon hit the go ahead three pointer.

Take Care of Home

The Orlando Magic went back and forth with the Brooklyn Nets all night keeping the game interesting. Brooklyn gave Orlando all they had and were able to gain a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter. Orlando showed resilience as they fought their way back to take the lead. So far the Magic have taken care of home court. Last season Orlando won only 16 games out of 41 home games. To be a contender in the NBA you have to be able to win on your home court consistently. With Orlando playing the style that they are and scoring so many point the fans will definitely show their support. Having a mad house of fans cheering them on transfers that energy to the team and make it difficult for visitors.

Rising in the East

The Orlando Magic are off to their best start since 2012. They are currently tied for the second spot in the eastern conference behind the Washington Wizards. Although the season is only four games old Orlando has the feel of a changed team. The national recognition has yet to be seen, but if they continue to play this way it will come. The East lost a few superstars this offseason and the early injuries are starting to mount up for competition. The early returns show a favorable chance for Orlando to make the playoffs this season.

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The Orlando Magic next game is Friday night versus the visiting San Antonio Spurs at 7pm.

 

Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic vs Brooklyn Nets

The Orlando Magic are back home to face the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets handed the Magic their first loss of the season just a few nights ago. Can Orlando even the series?

The first match-up with the Brooklyn Nets a couple of wrenches were thrown at the Orlando Magic. Just before the start of the game Aaron Gordon tested a sore ankle during warm-ups and decided he could not participate. With the Magic already down Aaron Gordon, another blow was suffered as Elfrid Payton left the game just before halftime with a hamstring injury. The Magic still held there own with the Nets considering the absence of two key starters. In the end, Brooklyn came out on top.

Following the Brooklyn game, Orlando was more prepared for the absence of Gordon and Payton and put together a great game defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers by 21. Going into tonight’s game the Magic are feeling good about their team. Aaron Gordon will be back in the lineup and Orlando will seek to avenge their only loss of the season. Here are a few things to look for in tonight’s game.

Buckets

The Brooklyn Nets are the highest scoring team in the NBA, Orlando isn’t far behind at number five. With that said, this should be a high scoring game. With Aaron Gordon back in the lineup, we can expect to see a few more transition baskets and scoring in the paint. While the Magic offense didn’t seem to miss a step with Gordon on the sideline, his addition gives another threat. The last time they met the score was 121-126, Nets. Look for numbers similar to this tonight.

Attention to Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic has been on fire for the Magic and is currently ranked 7th in scoring. The Nets were burned for 41 by Vucevic. Brooklyn was unable to keep tabs on Vucevic as he lit up the scoreboard from behind the arch. That amount of freedom will not be allowed by the Nets again. The Magic can expect more attention for Vucevic maybe even some double teams to get the ball out of his hands. Good thing for Orlando that Nikola Vucevic is a great passer. When given the ball in the post or on the elbow he has great vision and can find the open man. Vucevic will likely get his points, but look for him to rack up the assist as well.

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Interior defense

In the last meeting between Brooklyn and Orlando, the Nets scored easily in the paint. Trevor Booker especially was able to do whatever he wanted on the inside. The Magic have to find a way to defend the paint better. Whether they double down on Booker or just make it difficult to get him the ball. Orlando gave up 60 points in the paint and have to do better. Look for help to come early when Trevor Booker is in the post.

 

Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets

The Orlando Magic came into tonight’s game a man down as Aaron Gordon sat out with ankle soreness. The Magic were handed their first loss of the season 126-121.

The Magic got off to a good start against the Nets playing with pace and hitting their shots.  The Nets quickly found their way back into the game as Orlando went cold shooting the ball. Orlando had a tough time keeping Brooklyn out of the paint and gave up 32 first-half points inside. Already down Aaron Gordon, the Magic would be without Elfrid Payton who left the game just before halftime with a hamstring injury. As a result, the Magic could not overcome the loss of their two starters and came up short.

Missing Gordon

The offense was noticeably different without the services of Aaron Gordon. Consequently, Orlando was not able to speed up the tempo like they would like and were forced to run half-court sets. With Elfrid Payton out in the second half, the Magic’s offense sputtered even more. The high flying up-tempo style just was not happening. Evidence of this is the measly 5 points scored on fast breaks. The Magic are not a great shooting team so walking the ball up the floor did not create the best situations. The importance of Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon were seen tonight.

Vucevic on Fire

One bright spot for the Orlando Magic was the play of Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic scored 21 points and recorded a career-high 4 3-pointers in the first half. With the Magic not running the offense with tempo setting up Vucevic on pick and pops was the go-to play call. Outside of pick and pop offense, Vucevic had his way with the Brooklyn defenders in the post. Vucevic was the Magic’s main source of offense all night.  He finished the game with 41 points and 11 rebounds shooting 6-8 from behind the arch.

Interior defense

The interior defense for the Magic was the weak point tonight. Brooklyn scored an amazing 60 points in the paint, only 6 of those were on fast breaks. The Magic just could not figure out how to keep the Nets out of the paint. Not only did Brooklyn score the ball in the paint they were able to get Orlando to put them on the free throw line. The Nets took 20 more free throw shots than the Magic going 25-35 while Orlando went 13-15. Many of the Magic’s woes on defense came as a result of penetration from the perimeter not being cut off. The Magic will need to go back to the drawing board to sure up the interior defense.

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Up next

The Orlando Magic will now go on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night. This will be the first back to back game for both teams as Cleveland got a win over the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. The Magic hope to have both Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton back in the lineup as they look to get back in the win column.

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.

Rotation

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.

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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.

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