Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dragons Win, Crocs Have Game Winners and News

Is Pero thinking of adding sauce then taking a bite?

Tonight saw the South Dragons record their first win in the Brian Goorjian era. 97-81 was the final. Both teams play again on Sunday in Perth.

recap boxscore

My weekly Townsville Bulletin article has been moved to Wednesday during the season. Enjoy!

Tip-off on Friday night in Adelaide will mark the start of my fifteenth NBL season and some things never change. I still have a mixture of both excitement and nervousness when that that first ball goes up.

I think it would be time to give it away if I didn’t get pumped for this time of the year. What keeps me ticking along day in and day out and fuels my desire to keep working during the off season is the opportunity to win another championship and to compete against the best Australian basketball has to offer.
I am a competitor and it is my job to do everything I can to win. However, the way I go about ‘winning’ and the focus of my game has changed as I have evolved and grown as a player.

When I was young and trying to establish a reputation for myself in the league, I not only wanted the team to win, but also wanted to personally have a stat line with all the big numbers. If I didn’t accomplish both tasks, I often went home with a feeling that I had not fulfilled my objectives I had set for myself. I guess it is all part of being young and feeling invincible.

If you fast forward and compare my approach now, I will be the first to tell you that I still want to drop fifty points every time I hit the court. I just have a patience that comes with experience. I may only have twenty and they may all happen in the fourth quarter. Or it may not be my night to score, but I will be happy to quietly contribute seven rebounds and five assists to a solid team win.

This leads me to the topic of just what Croc fans can expect to see from their team this season. This year’s team may just be one in which any number of players could step up on any given night.

For instance, there will be many occasions where teams will struggle to keep Corey Williams in front of them. However, when there is a team that finds a way to keep him contained, it will be Kelvin Robertson’s night to light it up for thirty plus.

Michael Cedar has very quietly turned himself into a potential game winner for our team. “Juice” has the ability to peel off 20 points in a quarter and open a game up in a hurry.

Brad Williamson also has that ability. And, for a little extra trivia on Williamson, he currently holds the NBL record for most three point baskets made in one quarter with eight.

Of course on most nights, Rosell Ellis’ work ethic alone will get him over the line against most opponents. So it stands to reason that you should expect to see a very impressive stat line when it becomes his night to shine.

A rejuvenated Russell Hinder has already shown that he is thriving on the added responsibility give to him by Coach Trevor Gleeson. He had back to back twenty plus point games in the preseason and neither Rusty or I could remember the last time this had happened.

That leaves Daniel Egan, Cam Tovey and Steve Costanzo. We have become accustomed to Egan’s ability to ignite a team with one of those timely tip dunks that have become a sort of calling card for the Fan Man.

Tovey, on the other hand, is the guy that will come up with some timely plays on the defensive end of the court that the team will feed off of. His long fame allows him to make plays that most of us could only hope for.

Costanzo is a work in progress but there will be points scored this season off the back of a great screen from the big young local talent. Or there will be that chance for him to reel in a crucial rebound. Once he finds his feet opportunities will be waiting for him left and right.

I know it may seem blindly optimistic to believe that every player on a roster has the ability to produce a game winning play. Maybe it is the paternal side shining through from my years of experience. I will say that I haven’t had to dig to deeply this season to find a strength in each and every member of this year’s team. And this is something I can honestly say has not always been so easy in my 15 years.

The Crocs take on the 36ers in Adelaide on Friday, then return home next week for our home opener.


- The West Australian “I do remember what happened last time and it didn’t sit well,” Mark Worthington said. “Shawn (Redhage) plays hard and I play hard, so something has to give.”

Worthington and Redhage are worth the price of admission and a quote.

- Video of CJ Bruton talking up the Breakers chances.

- James Harvey named Gold Coast Blaze captain.

- Wollongong Hawks feel they should have better odds.

- The Daily Telegraph "Within the first five possessions coach Jim Calhoun said 'This is a no-brainer. This kid is special.'" University of Conneticut Coach Jim Calhoun talks about Sydney prospect Ater Majok.

- Shane Heal has a weekly column on the Gold Coast.

- 36ers will be entertaining?

- Aaron Bruce talks to his local rag.

- Gold Coast Bulletin "I take it with a pinch of salt -- what he says is what he says," Pero Cameron said. "If you talk about yourself, I think there are a lot of areas I could be better in and you work at it during the season."

Blaze Coach Brendan Joyce wants Cameron to slim down into game shape. Good luck to Joyce with this. Pero will never be a slim man.

- Townsville junior looking to impress.

- Mark Slocombe's Fast Facts for round 1.

- Crocs coach Trevor Gleeson eyeing a top four finish.

- If you love The Glove (Gary Payton) and the Reign Man (Shawn Kemp), this is for you.

- Has basketball become boring? Join in the debate with A Stern Warning.

- Ronny Turiaf and Rod Benson seen together!

1 comment:

Dodge Taylor said...

Congrats on FIFTEEN seasons JR!! Where has the time gone??

Looking at your survey of how people think you'll go against Adelaide it looks like only your wife thinks you're going to drop 40. :-)

Maybe we need an old-fashioned Rillie shooting display so people remember how its done!