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The Orlando Magic start a three-game road trip facing the also depleted Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Saturday. Orlando hasn’t won a game since the month started. They may have their best chance against the Nets, who are reeling from the COVID outbreak.

The problem for the Orlando Magic is they are also dealing with a spate of injuries. Even with their regular starters around, they still struggle to win games. It’s unfortunate that they still might not be able to catch a break against the undermanned Brooklyn Nets.

Meanwhile, the Nets continue to defy the odds with yet another improbable win against the Philadelphia 76ers. They are still undefeated since the virus outbreak sidelined almost half the entire team. Without James Harden, Kevin Durant is playing his best basketball of the season, leading the Nets to one incredible win after another.

34 points
11 rebounds
8 assists

Just unbelievable.

View image on Twitter34 points11 rebounds8 assistsJust unbelievable. https://t.co/9pGkqVChuR

Steve Nash’s team will head into the game against the Orlando Magic with a severely depleted roster. The Nets know that this represents a chance for teams to take their best shot at picking up a win against them, and this young Magic side are no different. The Magic may finally be able to come away with the win against the Brooklyn Nets, who have beaten them twice alteady this season.

Match Detail

Fixture: Orlando Magic vs Brooklyn Nets | 2021-22 NBA season

Date & Time: Saturday, December 18th; 7:30 PM ET (Sunday, December 19th; 6:00 AM IST)

Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Orlando Magic Preview

The Orlando Magic are about as injury-riddled as the Brooklyn Nets. [Photo: The Dream Shake]The Orlando Magic are about as injury-riddled as the Brooklyn Nets. [Photo: The Dream Shake]

The Orlando Magic will likely see their best player Cole Anthony miss their third meeting of the season against the Brooklyn Nets. As such, they will be in for another long night despite the Nets’ lengthy injury list.

For the young Orlando Magic squad to have a chance, they can’t afford to fall behind by a large margin at any point in the game. They are simply not poised enough to execute down the stretch against the Nets, who boast one of the most clutch players in the game.

Despite the losses, the Orlando Magic organization should be elated with how Franz Wagner, Chuma Okeke and the youthful team are competing. Without three of their best players, they have given every game their best shot, which is all the Magic franchise can ask for with a team so young.

Key Player – Franz Wagner

Franz Wagner is averaging 14.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals per contest this season. Without Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, the rookie has really shined in a more prominent role for the Orlando Magic. Wagner has stepped up without Suggs and Anthony, increasing his averages to 19.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Franz Wagner this past week:18.5 PPG5 RPG3.8 APG1 SPG54% FG58% 3 Pt FGIt’s literally not even close. The disrespect needs to stop twitter.com/hoopshype/stat…

Head coach Jamahl Mosley can afford to be creative with his lineup whether or not Suggs and Anthony are on the floor because of Wagner’s versatility. He can comfortably play across four positions with limited minutes, plugging holes in the rotation. If not for the Orlando Magic’s dismal record, the NBA and fans alike would have taken more notice of the 20-year old rookie.

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Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup

G – Gary Harris Jr. | G – Franz Wagner | F – BJ Johnson | F – Chuma Okeke | C – Robin Lopez

Brooklyn Nets Preview

The Brooklyn Nets are playing well despite almost half of the roster under health and safety protocols. [Photo: NBC Sports]The Brooklyn Nets are playing well despite almost half of the roster under health and safety protocols. [Photo: NBC Sports]

In his last three games, Kevin Durant has averaged 39.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists despite all the defensive attention he has had to face. Even more impressive is his ability to come up big in the most critical situations in almost every game.

Without KD, the Brooklyn Nets will be hard pressed to win the championship even if James Harden gets back to form and Kyrie Irving suits up.

Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineup

G – Patty Mills | G – David Duke Jr. | F – Kevin Durant | F – Blake Griffin | C – Nicholas Claxton

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Magic vs Heat Match Prediction

Without Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs for the Orlando Magic, they could go 0-3 against the Brooklyn Nets this season. The Nets have better offensive output and defensive solidity, which was evident in their four-game winning streak. They also have the ultimate mismatch in Kevin Durant.

Where to watch the Magic vs Heat game

The NBA League Pass will stream the game live. Local coverage of the matchup is available via YES Network and Bally Sports Florida.

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