The Brooklyn Nets faced off against the Orlando Magic in a crucial game to determine which team will secure the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. Both teams came into this game after going 1-2 in their scrimmages before the start of the regular season. In this matchup, the poor defense of the Nets was exploited by the Magic. Evan Fournier scored 24 points to lead the Magic over the Nets. Also, Nikola Vucevic added 22 points while dominating Jarrett Allen in the paint. As a team, the Magic were able to score at a remarkable efficiency (52.9%) and they were able to use their size to grab more rebounds than the Nets.
The Nets lacked size, experience, and depth in their roster compared to the Magic. The Nets probably appeared confused on defense because of their new roster and the recent coaching change. One thing that Kenny Atkinson brought to the team was energy, and his ability to motivate his players to give their maximum effort on both sides of the basketball. So far, it seems like Jacque Vaughn has implemented a pick and roll offense which promotes mid-range shooting and layups. The mid-range shots by the Nets opened up penetration lanes for Caris Levert and Chris Chiozza.
Positive Outlook for Nets in Orlando
While the Nets did lose by 10 points, there are a few positives that the team can take away from this defeat. Caris Levert had seventeen points and seven assists, which is solid considering he is adjusting to his new role as the primary scorer. Jarrett Allen was terrible on the defensive end, but he was productive on offense, scoring fourteen points on 7 for 9 shooting. Finally, Joe Harris scored fourteen points on 6 for 11 shooting. The Nets overall looked good defensively, but the poor defensive effort ended up suffocating the offensive effort of 118 points on 47.3% shooting for the Nets.
This is only one game out of the eight remaining in the regular season, and Brooklyn will have to rebound from this disappointing opening performance in Orlando. The Nets will face the Washington Wizards on Sunday, August 2nd @ 2:00 PM.