Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets: Game Preview
Date: Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: ADVENTHEALTH ARENA, Orlando, FL
TV: FOX Sports Florida
Mobile: FOX Sports GO
Radio: 96.9 FM the Game / 98.1 SALSA Y MAS
ORLANDO -- With the Orlando Magic’s postseason positioning and opponent set, the team continues to focus on developing a style of play that can make them a factor in the playoffs.
While the Milwaukee Bucks, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, await the Magic, who reside in the eighth spot, Orlando still has much it would like to accomplish in its final two seeding games.
The quest to develop winning habits and discipline to playing its brand of basketball continues on Tuesday when Orlando (32-39) looks to complete a four-game season sweep of the Brooklyn Nets (34-36), who recently secured the seventh seed in the East.
“We still have two games left, so we want to keep trying to get better and use these games to get into a rhythm and work on our good habits,” Magic point guard D.J. Augustin said.
In and Out: Unfortunately, for a team trying to build chemistry amongst its rotation as it prepares for the postseason, the Magic were dealt another blow on Monday.
Orlando announced that Terrence Ross had to leave the NBA Campus following Sunday's game against Boston due to a personal, non-COVID medical matter, which required him to undergo some off-site tests as advised by league physicians. He’s out for the team’s matchup against the Nets and his availability moving forward will depend on test results and NBA quarantine protocols.
Michael Carter-Williams (strained tendon, left foot), Evan Fournier (illness, non-Covid-19) and Aaron Gordon (strained left hamstring) are all listed as doubtful. MCW was a partial participant in the team’s practice on Monday, but Fournier and Gordon were unable to go through the session.
That will translate to additional court time for players like Gary Clark, Melvin Frazier Jr. and Wes Iwundu, who can gain meaningful experience in case they’re called upon in the postseason.
“It gives other guys opportunities to get their feet wet and see what the games are like,” Augustin said. “We’re going to need all those guys come the playoffs.”
Key Stat: Those players are already making the most of their minutes. Both Clark and Frazier Jr. set new career highs in points on Sunday.
Clark went 4-for-6 from 3-point range on his way to 15 points, while grabbing seven rebounds and blocking two shots. Frazier Jr. went 3-for-5 from the floor, posting eight points.
“I’m prepared just to be ready, so when my time comes, I don’t have to get ready,” Frazier Jr. said. “I’ve just been working out, shooting, defense, doing everything to stay ready.”
Rivals Report: The Nets faced a number of obstacles entering the NBA campus. Head coach Jacque Vaughn had only led the team for two games before the hiatus. With Kevin Durant (Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder) already out for the season, Wilson Chandler opting out of the restart, Nic Claxton having season-ending shoulder surgery and Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince not participating following positive COVID-19 tests (prior to coming to the campus), Brooklyn added Justin Anderson, Jamal Crawford, Donta Hall, Tyler Johnson and Lance Thomas to their roster.
Talk about a new-look squad with limited time to gel.
However, the Nets have adjusted extremely well, while making the few familiar faces the focal points of their offense. In their six restart games, four of them wins, Caris LeVert (22.6 ppg.), Joe Harris (20.2 ppg.) and Jarrett Allen (16.0 ppg.) are by far and away the team’s leading scorers.
“You’ve got to give them a ton of credit for the way they’ve played here,” Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford said. “They’ve beaten some really good teams.”
Brooklyn possesses the second-best offensive efficiency (115.8) in the Eastern Conference since the restart and the second-best assist to turnover ratio (2.18) over that span.
“After makes, too, they’re getting the ball up the floor quickly,” Clifford said. “They’re four-out with a roll game the majority of times and they’ve got guys that can play off the dribble and they play very unselfishly.”