Via SEABL.com.au

Was last weekend the turning point in the Blues season? At 4-9 about to face the 10-3 Nunawading Spectres and 12-2 Mount Gambier Pioneers most people wrote them off, but they managed to cause two upsets putting themselves well and truly back in finals contention.

Brandon Polk has settled in nicely after an erratic start, and even though he was posting monster numbers during their losing streak, including 34 points and 20 rebounds against Canberra, he has carried that form over with 29 and 6 against Nunawading on Saturday night, and collecting 14 rebounds against Mount Gambier. Mitch Chapman also delivered on the weekend with his numbers slightly down prior to Round 11; he produced 19 points against the Spectres and 20 against the Pioneers. The contribution of backcourt members Chapman and Ben Louis is vital to their finals chances going forward. 

Their next battle is against South Conference rival the Kilsyth Cobras, who have won their last three games with their big three – Kyle Adnam, Joel Naburgs and Tim Lang, continuing their stellar form.

Naburgs and Lang played all 40 minutes against the Sabres last weekend, while Adnam sat for a total of ten seconds. After those three, Cam Johnson was their next leading scorer with four points. The trouble is stopping the big three though. Adnam and Naburgs are extremely crafty, and managed to get into the paint to score or create at will. As well as their ability to penetrate, they can both knock down the trey – Adnam making ten in his last five games at 43 per cent, while Naburgs has made ten in his last four at 42 per cent. Add Lang, who’s ability to score from inside or be the recipient of Adnam and Naburgs’ creativity, provides headaches for bigs across the league defensively. The big man has made 14 three’s from his last six games at 42 per cent.

The Cobras ability to space in their half-court offense, play off the on-ball screen and knock down the open shot off penetration has seen them stay in third spot in the South, despite the absence of an import player. If the Blues can contain penetration defensively, and hurt them offensively by utilising the mismatch in the four spot – the hole in the Cobras line-up left by injured import Dain Swetalla, they’re every chance of extending their streak to three wins. It’s easier said than done though; expect the Cobras to continue rolling on.

 

Points

Rebounds

Assists

FRA

Polk 19.3

Polk 10.1

Long 3.1

KIL

Lang 22.1

Lang 8.4

Naburgs 3.7

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