Nets face Orlando Magic for second time this season

demarre carroll 10.22 pic

Time: 7 p.m. EST

Location: Amway Center

Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports Go

Listen: WFAN 101.9 FM, 660 AM 

The Brooklyn Nets have won back to back games, bringing the team’s overall record to 2-1. The last time the Nets were over .500 was in November 2014. That Brooklyn squad featured the likes of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett and Bojan Bogdanovic, very far removed from this current assortment of Nets. 

Kenny Atkinson and company were a bit shaken following a rough opening night. Not only did Brooklyn fall to the Indiana Pacers 140-131, but also starting guard Jeremy Lin suffered a season-ending knee injury. However, the Nets were not deterred, winning their home opener 126-121 over the Orlando Magic and followed it up with a 116-104 home win over the Atlanta Hawks. The Nets controlled the majority of the contest Sunday afternoon, after gaining the lead in the second quarter and never giving it up. D’Angelo Russell notched his first career double-double as a Brooklyn Net. Scoring 16 points while dishing out 10 assists, the third-year player even grabbed seven rebounds, culminating an impressive homestand for the Brooklyn point guard. 

The Nets will be looking for their first road win of the season tonight, while Orlando will have a chance for revenge after coming up short in the last meeting between these two teams. Nikola Vucevic led the way for Orlando on Friday, scoring 41 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. The 26-year-old torched Brooklyn’s frontcourt and added six three-pointers to back that up. Orlando was without Aaron Gordon, while Elfrid Payton left the game with a hamstring injury. 

Three things to watch for

DeMarre Carroll

Brooklyn’s starting small forward has been the team’s most consistent player so far this season. Carroll has scored 17 points in both wins while shooting almost 43% this season from downtown. Carroll’s defense has also been a blessing, averaging close to two steals and almost seven rebounds per game in this young season. 

Allen Crabbe

Sean Marks had quite the off-season, and so far all of his gambles have worked. Most saw Portland matching Brooklyn’s offer to Crabbe two years ago as a bullet dodged for the Nets. However, Marks was not one of those people, and was able to aquire Crabbe for practically nothing. The former Golden Bear scored 20 points against the Hawks on Sunday while draining four three-point shots. 

Brooklyn’s defense

Atkinson has had a rough time getting his team to play defense. Brooklyn often allowed teams to score more than 100 points last season, and that trend has continued this year. The Pacers dropped a 140 spot on opening night and although the Nets have seen the amount of points given up decrease game by game, Atkinson is still looking to find a defensive identity for his team.