Will James Harden Debut & Kyrie Irving Return Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs Orlando Magic: Injury Report, Lineups, and Game Prediction

Published 01/16/2021, 1:00 PM EST
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 12: James Harden attends Black Ops Basketball Run on September 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)


The new and improved Brooklyn Nets are touted to be championship favorites this season. As James Harden is getting ready to feature in his first game with his new team, the Nets take on a dangerous Orlando Magic side led by Aaron Gordon.

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Venue: Barclays Center

Time: 6:00 PM ET (January 16, 2021)

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The Nets now look perfectly poised to win it all this season. However, they’ve to take one step at a time, and the team hasn’t been consistent over the last few games. The same can be said about the Magic as well.

Brooklyn Nets vs Orlando Magic: Injury Updates and Lineups

Nets

The Brooklyn Nets will now receive extra attention since the team has now employed a ‘Big 3’ in their lineup. However, Kyrie Irving will be missing the action on Saturday due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. 

Dec 30, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles the ball while being defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Irving is back with the Nets after an extended absence, but he’ll have to comply with the protocol and sit out against Orlando. Besides the obvious absentees in Spencer Dinwiddie and Nicolas Claxton, shooting guard Tyler Johnson is also expected to miss the game. 

As for James Harden, his condition remains questionable for the game. Harden isn’t injured, but the team has put him on the probable-list, just in case.

Possible Lineup

Bruce Brown (G)

James Harden (G)

Joe Harris (F)

Kevin Durant (F)

DeAndre Jordan (C) 

Magic

The Orlando Magic are in a defining moment early in the season. They’re currently 6-6 in the regular season, and a win or a loss will decide a momentum shift in the team. The team is hindered by injuries early in the season, and a weakened roster is not something any coach would enjoy. 

The Magic will be without several players for their game against Brooklyn Nets. They already have players sidelined for the longer part, and Evan Fournier (back), Michael Carter-Williams (foot), and Mo Bamba (contact tracing) are the ones expected to miss the Nets game besides Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, and Chuma Okeke. 

Possible Lineup

Cole Anthony (G)

Terrence Ross (G)

James Ennis III (F)

Aaron Gordon (F)

Nikola Vucevic (C) 

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Prediction

It is no secret that both teams don’t sport a healthy roster ahead of the game. But that has been the case with this season, and teams must adapt to the situation. Right now, the Nets look like the favorites to win this game despite not having Kyrie on the team. 

Jan 12, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots a three-point shot over Denver Nuggets center Bol Bol (10) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant has been lethal on the offensive end, and one can only expect him to get better upon joining hands with James Harden. Though Magic have good post protection with Vucevic and Gordon, we predict the Nets to win this game and improve their record to 8-6.

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Arjun Athreya

2035 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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