Tonight's Game: New Jersey Nets vs. Orlando Magic

New Jersey Nets main logo
vs.
Orlando Magic main logo
25-31 36-22
IZOD Center
7:30 PM
Sun Sports
Probable starters:
Marcus Williams PG Jameer Nelson
Vince Carter SG Maurice Evans
R. Jefferson SF Hedo Turkoglu
Nenad Krstic PF Rashard Lewis
Josh Boone C Dwight Howard

The Nets made headlines earlier this month when they agreed to ship All-Star point guard Jason Kidd to Dallas for Devin Harris and other players. Kidd's last game as a Net was February 12th versus Minnesota. In the four games since then, the Nets are 2-2, in large part due to the resurgence of Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. The Nets' franchise players have combined to score 191 of New Jersey's 406 points in that time span, a staggering 47%. Once Harris returns from injury -- he hasn't played in nearly a month due to an ankle injury -- the Nets figure to be in fairly good shape for the remainder of this season and into the next.

Conversely, we haven't shaken up our roster much since trading for Maurice Evans and Brian Cook in November. We're 3-1 since the All-Star break and boast the most efficient offense in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, our defense has regressed to a remarkable degree, and we're in jeopardy of losing our third-overall seed in the Conference.

New Jersey has started oft-injured power forward Nenad Krstic in each of its last seven games, but he hasn't fared well; he reached double-figure scoring just once in those games. Tonight, he may come off the bench, as he's a poor match for Rashard Lewis; Krstic has neither the skill nor the speed to defend Lewis on the perimeter, and Nets coach Lawrence Frank may opt to start Bostjan Nachbar instead, as he did in the first meeting between these two teams, which took place in mid-November. However, for the purposes of this preview, I'll assume that Krstic will indeed start.

Tipoff's at 7:30. Be sure to tune-in, if for nothing else to see Darrell Armstrong play. The second-oldest player in the league, and arguably the most beloved player in Magic history, will back up Marcus Williams at point guard tonight. Recall that Flash destroyed us in early January, leading a fourth-quarter rally to push the Nets to victory over us at the Amway Arena for one of our most embarrassing losses of the season. Let's hope that performance was a fluke.

And don't forget to check out the latest installment of the Blogger MVP/Rookie of the Year rankings, this time hosted by Tom at CelticsBlog.

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