The Brooklyn Nets won five games in a row just once in the previous four seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information. On Friday night against the Orlando Magic, they’ll have the opportunity to do it twice -- in the month of November. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
STAYING SHARP: The Nets were 1-2 when they came into Orlando to face the Magic for the first time on Nov. 9. They’re 9-2 since, including a 39-point rout of the Magic in that game. The Nets also beat Orlando the next day, but played terribly. Brooklyn needs to win this one with Miami waiting in the wings on Saturday night.
DDDDD-FENSE: The Nets currently head the NBA in opponents points per game, giving up just 90.7 a night. In two games against Orlando, they’ve given up an average of 71. Another brilliant defensive outing would go a long way toward helping them improve to 3-0 against the Magic this season.
BLATCHE OR BLATCHE? Andray Blatche, “The Godfather” of the Bench Mob, will be inserted into the starting lineup on Friday night with starter Brook Lopez out due to a sprained right foot. Blatche has been tremendous since signing a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with Brooklyn in the offseason. In 14 games, he’s averaging 9.1 points and 5.4 rebounds. On Wednesday night in Boston, he contributed 17 points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes. Those are the type of numbers the Nets would love for him to replicate on against Orlando.
WITH A WIN: The Nets would improve to 11-4 overall and 8-1 against the Eastern Conference, while matching their best road start since 2007-08 (4-3).