Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets (March 19, 2021): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Orlando Magic could not contain the Brooklyn Nets' offensive juggernaut as they got buried in teir own mistakes. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic could not contain the Brooklyn Nets' offensive juggernaut as they got buried in teir own mistakes. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic look to avoid a 10-game losing streak as they face off against the red-hot Brooklyn Nets and their star power.

Orlando Magic (13-27) vs. Brooklyn Nets (28-13)


8 p.m./FOX Sports Florida




$84-$670 on StubHub

2021 Season Series:

Nets 122, Magic 115

in Brooklyn on Jan. 16;

Nets 129, Magic 92

in Brooklyn on Feb. 25; Tonight in Orlando

PaceOff. Rtg.Def. Rtg.eFG%O.Reb.%TO%FTR

OMD Prediction

The sting of Thursday night’s loss for the Orlando Magic was evident. The team really put all it had to defeat the New York Knicks and fell one disappointing point short. Worse still, the Magic clearly could feel like it was their mistakes that cost them. A slew of bad turnovers and missteps cost them the game. And the Magic knew they squandered their best chance for a win in a while.

This was always going to be a tough back-to-back for the Magic. Even before considering the opponent in the Brooklyn Nets. The fact the Nets have been sitting in Orlando for the evening, with Kyrie Irving even getting an evening shooting session on the Amway Center floor as he will return to the lineup, only makes it harder. The Magic’s defense is playing well, but there is no defense for what Kyrie Irving and James Harden can do. Orlando simply cannot score enough.

147. 103. 38. Prediction. 120

3 Keys To Watch

Who helps Vooch?

Nikola Vucevic has torn up the Brooklyn Nets this year. In two games, he has averaged 31.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game and a 68.2-percent true shooting percentage. Vucevic gives the Magic the one advantage over anyone the Nets have. Brooklyn is not a great defensive team (the team is getting better and trending in the right direction) and the Magic have exploited that weakness in the middle in the first two matchups.

The question was always who helps him? In the last matchup with the Nets, Vucevic scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. The Magic had only three other players in double figures and the team made only 40.2-percent of its shots. That just is not enough against a potent offense like the Nets. Someone else has to step up and relieve the pressure on Vucevic to score. Having Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon back should help with that.

Who slows down Harden and Irving?

The Orlando Magic’s biggest issue has been slowing down James Harden as a playmaker. In three games against the Orlando Magic this season (one with the Houston Rockets and two with the Brooklyn Nets), Harden is averaging 22.3 points and 11.7 assists per game. His scoring has not been as much of a concern as his ability to dish out to the perimeter and find the Nets’ shooters.

With Michael Carter-Williams questionable for the game, the Magic are again shorthanded at point guard. Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier will get their turn on both James Harden and Kyrie Irving throughout the game. It is hard to imagine Chasson Randle getting the call to defend either throughout the game. Both are still clearly working their way back from injury. How effective anyone can be defensively is still up in the air.

Make Shots

The game is simply going to come down to whether the Orlando Magic can make shots. The Brooklyn Nets are decent defensively, but the pressure they put on offenses is in their demand for other teams to keep up. The Magic’s defense has given them chances to win the last few outings. But Orlando can play good defense Friday and still give up a ton of points. That is just the nature of playing a team like Brooklyn.

Next. Orlando Magic still believe they can finish strong. dark

Orlando’s best defense will be hitting shots to keep up, limiting turnovers and forcing Brooklyn to play against a set defense. The Magic have to make shots to have any chance in this game. And they likely need to be playing from ahead.