Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 27th 2024

The Orlando Magic were monitoring the status of two key players ahead of their matchup against the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

Paolo Banchero (illness) and Jonathan Isaac (left knee strain) were both listed as questionable to face Brooklyn, which snapped a four-game losing streak with a 111-86 win over the host Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

Banchero missed a game for the first time this season on Sunday, when Orlando committed 20 turnovers in a 109-92 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Isaac exited the game in the first quarter and did not return, but X-rays were negative.

Point guard Markelle Fultz returned after missing three games due to a left knee injury and scored three points in 12 minutes off the bench. Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said he is exercising caution with Fultz, who has missed 36 games due to injury this season.

“It’s a lot of the long game,” Mosley said. “Just being able to slowly get him back into the fold with these guys. Monitoring how he feels pulling up after games is going to continue to be important for each one of these guys.”

Cole Anthony had 15 points off the bench against Atlanta and has scored in double figures in six of his past seven games.

Orlando also received a spark from forward Franz Wagner, who is averaging 22 points on 51.8 percent shooting over his past 12 games. Mosley praised Wagner for his consistent effort on both ends of the floor.

“The maturity that he continues to possess and show, night in and night out,” Mosley said. “He’s done a great job of communicating what he sees, what’s happening on the court real time.”

Orlando has lost 10 of its past 13 meetings against Brooklyn, including two previous matchups this season.

The Nets used a balanced attack on Monday for their first win under interim coach Kevin Ollie, who lost his first two games after taking over from Jacque Vaughn.

Ollie has been impressed by his players’ cohesiveness through the coaching change.

“It’s been a couple of up-and-down days, unknown days, and the (team) just stayed together,” Ollie said. “The joy and the love that they share for each other is amazing. They play for each other and they want to win for each other.”

Dennis Schroder scored 18 points and Dorian Finney-Smith added 13 in the victory at Memphis. Cam Thomas scored 14 points before exiting the game in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury.

“I should be fine,” Thomas said postgame, according to the New York Post. “I mean I’m able to walk on it, so it’s not bad, but I will take it day by day.”

Ben Simmons played 14 minutes off the bench in the victory, but he is expected to sit out on the second night of a back-to-back for precautionary reasons. Simmons has been limited to 15 games this season due to various injuries.

Brooklyn tallied 32 assists and allowed a season-low point total in the win over Memphis. Ollie said his team is well-positioned to build on the encouraging performance.

“If we share the ball, it’s hard to stick us,” Ollie said. “We have some elite players that can get downhill, that can shoot. We just took care of the ball today and got back in transition, and I think that was the key to the game.”

–Field Level Media

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