In the third game of the season, and first game for Jason Kidd as a coach, the Brooklyn Nets traveled to Orlando and were blown out by the Magic 107-86. The loss began what was a dreadful first part of the season for the Nets. That win for Orlando was the team's second of a game three game win streak.
However, as 2014 has arrived, things have turned drastically since then. Brooklyn enters the game having won seven of their last eight games. The Orlando Magic just recently snapped a 10 game losing streak as they defeated the lowly Boston Celtics by two points on Sunday.
Several things have happened for the Nets. Defensively, the team has improved tremendously. In their last seven victories, they are giving up just 92 points per game.
Coupled with improved ball movement and team play, Joe Johnson has been on a tear. In the last five Nets wins, the veteran guard is averaging over 27 points per game while shooting over 54 percent.
Sandwiched in between the Nets recent winning ways is a 96-80 loss against the Toronto Raptors where Johnson scored just 11 points.
Kidd has seen improved offensive play as he's gone mostly with a small lineup by putting Paul Pierce at the power forward position and Kevin Garnett as the center.
On Monday, the Nets traveled to Madison Square Garden where they blew out the New York Knicks 103-80. The team welcomed back Deron Williams who scored 13 points off the bench. Williams has missed the last five games and decided himself that he wanted to come off the bench so that he would not disrupt the starting unit's recent hot streak. Kidd has been using Alan Anderson at the shooting guard spot with Shaun Livingston as the team's point guard.
Tuesday night, Brooklyn will have to watch several players for the Magic. Shooting guard Arron Afflalo is in the middle of his best season as a pro, averaging 20.9 points per game. Afflalo is a more than just a one dimensional player who can hurt you with his shooting, 42.5 percent from three-point range, gets to the free-throw line for five attempts per game, averages 4.6 rebounds per game and 3.9 assists per game.
Glen Davis is a big body down low that can score and create matchup problems. Davis is averaging 13.9 points per game to go with 7.4 rebounds.
Jameer Nelson is a veteran point guard who can score and stretch the defense with his long-range shooting, or dish it out and create for his teammates.
Tobias Harris is an athletic forward with good scoring ability and rebounding ability. His energy and athleticism can create problems for opponents.
With the second overall pick in last year's draft, the Magic drafted Victor Oladipo out of Indiana. Oladipo has had a very good rookie season. The athletic, high-energy guard is averaging 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.8 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. He's a terrific young prospect with all around ability on the offensive and defensive ends.
Center Nikola Vucevic will miss this game for Orlando.
- Paul Pierce, Brooklyn Nets Play Host to Atlanta Hawks on Monday Night
- How the Brooklyn Nets Have Saved Their Season (Part Two)
- Joe Johnson Leads Brooklyn Nets Blowout of New York Knicks
- Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets Defeat Atlanta Hawks at Home
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