Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets (March 13, 2024): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Orlando Magic try to bounce back from their pair of disappointing losses this weekend as they look to get right against the Brooklyn Nets as they prepare for their long homestand beginning Sunday.

Jalen Suggs is set to return for the Orlando Magic as they take on the Brooklyn Nets and close in on ensuring their spot in the postseason.
Jalen Suggs is set to return for the Orlando Magic as they take on the Brooklyn Nets and close in on ensuring their spot in the postseason. / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

26-39. 147. Bally Sports Florida, YES. March 13, 2024. Magic Nets Matchup 03.13.24. Magic by 7 (O/U 205.5). 7P. 37-28. 38

Tickets: $29-$461 on StubHub
Season Series: Nets 124, Magic 104 in Brooklyn on Nov. 14; Nets 129, Magic 101 in Brooklyn on Dec. 2; Magic 108, Nets 81 in Orlando on Feb. 27; Tonight in Orlando


Off. Rtg.

Def. Rtg.





















OMD Prediction

Our Record: 41-24/33-32 ATS

The biggest question constantly facing this young Orlando Magic team is: How do they handle adversity? How do they respond when they get knocked to the floor and how do they rediscover their winning ways?

That is a fair question to ask after two poor offensive showings in losses to the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, both games that felt big because of the playoff implications. Orlando has responded well to bad losses in the past, but this felt a bit weightier. And the Brooklyn Nets, despite a 27-point win a few weeks ago, have been a thorn in the Orlando Magic's side.

As much as the focus should be on the Nets and the danger they present -- Mikal Bridges surely will not score four points this time around and Cam Thomas, who missed the last game, is back to give the Nets more scoring punch -- this is really about the Magic and whether they can get out of their rut.

Their defense, at least by the numbers, played well enough to win the last two games. They just needed to find some offense. That has always been the Magic's struggle. A day off and a practice day -- plus the returns of Jalen Suggs and Markelle Fultz -- could help boost a team that was lagging in two critical games.

147. Magic Nets Prediction 03.13.24. 107. 38. Prediction. 102

3 Keys to Watch

Jalen Suggs on offense

Usually, when Jalen Suggs is out of the lineup, everyone focuses and frets on what the team loses with him on defense.

Suggs is an insane point-of-attack defender. He blows up screens and on-ball actions with his energy and physicality. He is someone who makes a clear impact on defense and is someone who is getting a lot of attention for Defensive Player of the Year.

What might go under the radar is Suggs' impact on offense. If the last two games proved anything, it is that the Magic need Suggs' offense too.

Suggs' scoring is down since the All-Star Break, sitting at 11.6 points per game. But he is shooting 45.7 percent from three since the Break.

More than that, the Magic have a team-best 119.3 offensive rating with Suggs on the floor since the All-Star Break. That is boosted by not playing in the last two games. But Orlando had a 115.4 offensive rating as a team after the break excluding the last two games.

Jalen Suggs may not be a dynamic scorer, but having him as a ball-handler and another passer to get the ball to Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner does boost their production. Just as his 3-point shooting is a weapon the Magic use in critical parts of the game.

Orlando missed Suggs on offense.

The Cam Thomas Difference

The Orlando Magic dominated the Brooklyn Nets a few weeks ago, holding Mikal Bridges to four points. It was a cathartic game for the Magic after two blowout losses in Brooklyn earlier in the year. It also seemed to be a statement that the Magic were clearly a level above the Nets.

That game though came with Brooklyn down at least one clear player -- guard Cam Thomas.

Thomas is a dynamo scoring guard who can swing a game in the Nets' favor. That is what he has done in his two games since returning from injury, scoring 31 points in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets and then 29 points in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Thomas is averaging 21.3 points per game and is shooting a 50.1 percent effective field goal percentage even while he has yo-yoed in and out of the starting lineup. He is an excellent scorer and that is going to be something the Magic have to manage, especially if they want to get off to a better start in this game.

Countdown to the Postseason

Most Orlando Magic fans were pretty disappointed with the results of the weekend's games. The Magic had a chance to put some distance between themselves and the New York Knicks for fourth and the Indiana Pacers in seventh.

Instead, the standings are a mess. The Magic trail the Knicks by a half-game for fourth. They lead the Pacers by a half-game for fifth. They are one game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers and 1.5 games ahead of the Miami Heat for sixth and seventh.

Do not lose sight on the first important goal -- even if it is inevitable. The Brooklyn Nets are sitting in 11th in the Eastern Conference. And the Magic are closing in on cinching their spot in at least the Play-In Tournament.

With Orlando at 37-28 and Brooklyn at 26-39, Orlando's "magic number" to clinch a postseason spot is only seven. That means any combination of seven Magic wins or seven Nets losses would ensure the Magic reach at least the Play-In Tournament. That further means a win on Wednesday drops that number to five.

Jamahl Mosley extension 03.13.24. Orlando Magic continue to solidify foundation with Jamahl Mosley. dark. Next

Once that spot is assured, then the race really begins to claim seeding in the Eastern Conference. Every game maters from here on out.