Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Money Time

Finally the ‘money end’ of the season is upon us. The preseason and regular season are a distant memory and eight teams are now set to battle it out over the next three weeks. Only one can walk away with a championship trophy and the title of NBL Champion.

Who will it be? I have my hunches, but I am certain of one thing; anything can happen this time of year, starting with tonight’s action at the Swamp.

For those of you who are not up to speed, I’ll give you a quick overview of how the first couple of rounds of the playoffs in the NBL work.

The first round consists of four single elimination games played Wednesday through Saturday. If your team loses just once on any of those nights, their season is done.

If and when your team survives this week of action, they get a chance to breathe and look to round two. This time around there is a slight margin for error because they face either the no 1 team, the Sydney Kings, or the no 2 team, the Melbourne Tigers, in a best of three series.

So for all the Crocs fans out there, here is our scenario:

Tonight we host the Gold Coast Blaze and it is do or die. After winning that game, we board a plane for Perth on Thursday where we will take on the Wildcats Friday night.

Win that game and we move on to face the minor premier Sydney Kings in the semi finals. Lose at any time before this and you will find me fishing on the banks of the Ross River by week’s end.

The action will be fast and furious this first week and I cannot wait for the jump ball tonight. This is the time of year every player should absolutely live for. There is no time for excuses and no time for hiccups. We are now playing for all the marbles.

Here are some fast facts about tonight’s game:

Brad Sheridan has never finished lower than the semi finals during his ten year career. I hope we can continue this streak for “Rowdy”.

Ben Pepper will be playing in his first playoff game since 2003 when he was a member of the Brendon Joyce coached Wollongong Hawks. (Joyce now coaches the Blaze)

Blaze teammates Scott McGregor and James Harvey, will be looking forward to making their way back to playoff action after being members of the woodenspoon recipient West Sydney Razorbacks the last two seasons.

Kiwi international and Blaze big man Pero Cameron will get his first taste of finals basketball in the NBL tonight.

My weekly article can be found in the Townsville Bulletin every Wednesday!


Anonymous said...

Great to see you steppin up just like old times, JR. Something about BJ coached teams that brings out the best in you mate. Hope you all keep it rolling in Perth.


John Rillie said...

Thanks Snoop.