|-8.5 BK (-110) @ Pointsbet|
Take Brooklyn (#524)
I understand that the Nets just made a blockbuster deal, shaking up their roster and dealing first year, first time NBA head coach Steve Nash a bunch of headaches when it comes to sorting out player rotations, distributing minutes and shots, etc. And I’m well aware that point guard Kyrie Irving isn’t suiting up tonight. But make no mistake about it –with Kevin Durant and James Harden expected on the floor together for the first time, the Nets are going to put the biscuit in the basket; primed to light up the scoreboard.
That’s a real problem for the slumping Magic, playing on the second night of back-2-backs. Orlando has been decimated with injuries. They’ve got $130 million in contracts that are out for the season, with Jonathan Isaac and sparkplug Markelle Fultz both dealing with long term injuries. Michael Carter Williams and Mo Bamba and Chuma Okeke – all rotation pieces – are all out as well. Shooting guard Evan Fournier might suit up here, but he’s still dealing with a back injury.
With all the injuries and attrition, Orlando has fallen apart over the last week, losing each of their last four games in blowout fashion: by 42, 14, 22 and 27 points. Three of their four blowout losses came vs teams dealing with significant COVID absences. The defensive intensity that was palpable early in the season has been nowhere to be found – they’ve allowed opponents to hit more than half of their shots during this skid. Offensively, Orlando ranks #25 out of 30 teams in the NBA only because of their hot start – recent production has lagged significantly.
There was precious little energy or effort exerted in Boston last night, and an early start back-2-back doesn’t bode well for a better effort today. A Magic team starting James Ennis III, Dwayne Bacon and rookie Cole Anthony at point guard isn’t primed to hang tough with anybody, especially a Nets team with something to prove today before they step up in class vs Milwaukee on Monday. Take the Nets