Pregame Open Threads: New Jersey Nets at Orlando Magic

The Nets 4-game homestand to start the season began about as well as fans could hope for. They were 2-0 and awaiting a game against the Miami Heat. But after two straight losses (one blowout and one gut-wrenching game they gave away) they begin a back-to-back tonight in Orlando. Here are some things to keep an eye on.

Field Goal/Three Point Shooting Percentage: The Nets have struggled big-time shooting the ball over the last two games. Against Miami on Sunday they shot just 35% from the field and a dreadful 21% from the three-point line. It wasn’t much better the other night against Charlotte and they will need to be more efficient if they’re going to pull the upset in Orlando.

Injury Issues: It was something to look out for before the game against the Bobcats and injuries are still a bit of a nagging problem for this team. Troy Murphy struggled in his season debut and Devin Harris did not practice yesterday while nursing a shoulder injury, which he suffered in Wednesday’s game. Harris insisted he will play tonight but the Nets will need to be at full strength the next two nights against two of the best in the East.

Brook vs. Superman: One matchup I am very excited to watch tonight is Brook Lopez versus Dwight Howard. There is no doubt that Brook is one of the best young centers in the NBA, but as Avery Johnson said when talking to reporters, he still has a ways to go to be on Howard’s level. The Nets center has put up some very impressive numbers in the first four games, averaging 22.8 points and 2.25 blocks per game. He’ll need a similar effort tonight if he’s going to best Howard.