By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
January 21, 2014
W2W4: Orlando Magic vs Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets will be back at home for the first time in more than a week coming off a great win against the New York Knicks on Monday afternoon, and will be hosting hosting the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
The New Year has been great for the Brooklyn Nets, as they are one of the hottest teams in basketball in 2014. Their 7-1 record since the calendar changed has them right back into the Eastern Conference hunt, as they are now just 2.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors, who happen to be their only loss of the New Year, which was the second half of a back to back. Tuesday's game will also be a game on the second half of a back to back, but it is against a team far worse then the Raptors.
- Staying With What Works
Despite having their best player coming back from injury in Deron Williams, the Nets and Jason Kidd have elected to stick with the starting lineup that they have been using without Williams, and maybe most importantly in this day of age in basketball, Williams gave his blessing to the reserve role. In that new role Williams did look pretty good, as he played 27 minutes, scoring 13 points on four for 10 shooting to go along with three assists. Williams also had some help, as Andray Blatche coming off one of his better games of the season in London, brought that play back to New York. Blatche went for 19 points and 12 rebounds, as he is on a nice two-game double-double streak now.
- More Joe Domination
The Nets good play seems to be directly correlated with the vastly improved play of Joe Johnson, who has been playing much better in 2014, as so far in the month of January he is averaging 19.8 points per game, which is more than four points more per game than he averaged in December. In five of the eight games so far this month, Johnson has scored 20 or more points, and if he can keep this up the Nets seem like they can hop the Raptors in the Atlantic Division rather quickly.
- No Letdowns
Tonight has to be looked at a night for the Nets to trim the Raptors lead to two games tonight, as the Orlando Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA with a (11-30) record heading into Tuesday night. They did win their last game against the Boston Celtics by two points at home, but before that lost their previous 10 games. Victor Oladipo is a fun rookie to watch, who is improving a lot over the year so far, but even with the second overall pick playing good basketball, this is a Magic team that is going nowhere this year.