Thursday, October 30, 2008

Best Of All Time - Breakers Shooting?

Phill Jones..Just one of the many shooters on the Breakers roster.

A good solid chunk of media attention in the NBL this season has centered on the discussion of whether or not the Melbourne Tigers will become one of the greatest teams of all time. Well, I’ve got another point for discussion.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that our opponent this week, the New Zealand Breakers, may just have assembled one of the best three point shooting line ups of all time,…and of course this is exciting for me!

Former Crocs assistant coach Andrej Lemanis has been leading the New Zealand Breakers for the last 4 seasons and has put together a team that may arguably be the deadliest group of shooters to ever to make up an NBL roster.

Let’s start with CJ Bruton. Bruton has become the premier point guard in the NBL over the past five years and his reputation for clutch play in the final minutes of a tight game is becoming legendary.

When the game is on the line Lemanis will want the ball in CJ’s hand and would be more than happy to let him take a shot at a game breaking three.

Kirk Penney is absolutely lighting it up right now. Leading the league in scoring with 28ppg, Penney accumulates most of these points from long range. Penney and Bruton make up one of the best backcourts in the NBL. If we are able to keep even one of these guys quiet, it will go a long way toward getting us a win against the Breakers.

But wait,…there’s more!

Oscar Forman isn’t afraid to take a few shots from downtown and has always been known as a good shooter. He has found consistent form recently and is currently making more than 50% of his 3-point shots. In fact, out of the 36 baskets he has made so far this season, 28 of them have been threes.

Still not done yet,…

Phill Jones may be the maddest bomber of them all. This guy can turn the game in a heartbeat and his range begins the minute he enters the building. Jones is also hitting around 50% from three so we need to shut him down the minute he enters the game.

Last but not least I have to mention Tony Ronaldson. Percentages mean nothing when you talk about “The Bear’s” shooting. Ronaldson will make the crucial three when you least expect it. This guy can be ice cold all night then drain the “big one” that lifts his team during the most crucial stages of the game. He is a veteran who has done it time and time again.

When you are talking about a team that shoots like these guys do, there is no point in discussing how you are going to stop them scoring three point baskets. The key word will be contain. The best way to do that will be to minimize their open looks at the basket. If we can get a hand in their face more often than not, it may just turn out to be the difference in the game on Saturday night.

Is New Zealand the greatest shooting team of all time? That is up for debate but if our defense is lackluster we will certainly help them lay claim to that title.

You can read my article every Wednesday in the Townsville Bulletin.

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