Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Boomers coach named

In news just to hand, Brian Goorjian's successor to the role of Boomers coach has been named and the winner is Brett Brown. Considering Brown is an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, the announcement certainly came as a surprise to me.

Click on the title below to read the full story.

Boomers name Goorjian heir - Basketball - Fox Sports

Basketball Australia has appointed American Brett Brown to coach the Australian men's team through to the London 2012 Olympics, replacing long-serving Brian Goorjian.

BA chairman David Thodey said the board decided to go for 48-year-old Brown's 'fresh energy and new ideas'.

An assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA for the past six years, Brown has extensive experience with the Boomers program and the NBL.

'The Basketball Australia board is extremely proud of the performance of the Boomers in Beijing and recognises the positive building blocks that have been put in place by Brian Goorjian for the Boomers' future,' Thodey said.

'But as we have done in the past we opened the door to the possibility of change after two Olympic cycles and with our sport moving forward in an exciting new direction we decided to utilise Brett Brown's fresh energy and new ideas.'

Brett Brown in his days as coach of the Sydney Kings

Hawks saved

I woke up this morning to a number of posts on Facebook from some excited Wollongong Hawks fans. Here's why (click on the title below to read the full story):

Indian magnate Arun Jagatramka saves the Wollongong Hawks - Local News - News - General - Illawarra Mercury

By Tim Keeble

The Wollongong Hawks are back from the brink after miraculously securing a million-dollar bank guarantee with moments to spare.

As the seconds wound down towards a 3pm deadline yesterday, Indian businessman Arun Jagatramka answered the Hawks' SOS call for a white knight to rescue the club from oblivion.

The Illawarra mining magnate agreed to provide the all-important guarantee, leaving the NewNBL virtually no option but to include the Hawks in next season's restructured competition.

Yesterday's stunning turn of events came just 24 hours after the six-week Save the Hawks campaign had seemingly failed.

Save the Hawks spearhead Mat Campbell could barely believe the good news himself.

'There's a lot of relief there, but it's more excitement, because this is the last thing we needed to shore up our bid and it gives (the NewNBL) no excuses now to kick us out,' Campbell said.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The new "NBL"

I had dinner with a friend on Friday night and she mentioned that the NBL are supposed to be making a decision on the future of the league and which teams will be playing in it today.

I came across this article below about the Cairns Taipans nervously waiting to see what will happen. Should we be surprised by the last line which mentions the board may not make any final decisions today? Probably not.

I'll keep you updated on news about the new league when I hear more.

Taipans nervously await decision on future - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The future of the Cairns Taipans could be known as early as today with basketball bosses meeting to discuss which teams will make up a new national competition.

Taipans general manager Mark Beecroft says they are also waiting to hear whether the Queensland Government will provide a $1 million funding guarantee.

He says the club is nervous.

'We've still got our fingers crossed crossed, we understand the NBL board will be meeting to make a decision on the format of the league,' he said.

'There are a few things we're yet to have in place - one being the guarantee and obviously the working capital through the pledges we've got to collect this week.'

An NBL spokesman says the board may not reach a final decision today, but the club should know within a fortnight whether it has been accepted into the new league.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Playground Gave Us Isiah (college years)

On the day that our friends at Dime ran a story about how the NBA's LA Clippers must be out of their minds talking to Isiah Thomas about a front office position, I came across a tribute to Isiah (the player) by Bounce Magazine for his college years. Being one of the greatest short point guards to playing in the NBA, Isiah definitely ticks the boxes of what I like in a player.

My favourite Isiah memory is from his playing days in Detroit, game 6 of the 1988 Finals Series against the Lakers. Although he had severely sprained his ankle late in the game, Thomas continued to play. While hobbling and in obvious pain, Isiah scored 25 points in a single quarter of the contest, an NBA finals record. And from the commentator (about Thomas) after he hits yet another bucket, the immortal line, "He owns the night!"

Click on the title below to read (and watch) all about Isiah in his college years.

The Playground Gave Us Isiah - The March Madness Edition | Streetball, Sneakers, Bobbito, Nike Air Force, Jordans

In March of ‘81, Isiah Thomas became a college basketball legend. He was the one indispensable member of coach Bob Knight’s Indiana Hoosier squad that captured the Big 10 Championship en route to March Madness.

The team leader in scoring, steals and assists was not only the best pure guard in the country, he was the best the college game had seen since North Carolina’s amazing Phil Ford.

The irascible and stubborn coach Knight took unprecedented steps in revamping the Hoosier’s offensive sets in order to take full advantage of Isiah’s floor game, speed, spontaneous creativity and explosive, one-on-one proficiency.

In order to understand how much Isiah meant to the team, and an entire basketball crazed state, consider this. When word leaked out prior to the ‘81 NCAA Tourney that he was considering declaring hardship to make that pro money, the Ways and Means Committee of the Indiana House of Representatives suddenly stopped its meeting and called the university. Provided assurances that Isiah was staying in school, the relieved legislators went back about their political business.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The future is bright ...

The future is bright ... at least for the Aussie Boomers, if not the game as a whole in this country.

Nathan Jawai has been called back up to the Toronto Raptors after doing well in the NBDL. With only a couple of weeks left in the regular season and Toronto out of the playoff race, Nathan might see some court-time as the organisation looks to the future and rests its star players.

Patrick Mills continues to shine and although his school didn't make it in to the Big Dance, he's still getting attention in the NIT. The crew at Dime have a post about his match-up with young-gun Stephen Curry. Click here to read the full story and see some highlights from the game.

And finally, when John Rillie can drag himself away from 24 hours of basketball coverage in the US, he's given a recap of prospects for young Aussie bigman, Luke Nevill.

Despite the NBL being in limbo at the moment as everyone waits to hear what is happening next, the future of our national team looks strong with plenty of great young talent developing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our next shooter revealed

I mentioned a week or so ago that I was heading down the coast to shoot some videos for our Basketball Workshop. After many, many hours spent uploading the videos to youtube, I can now reveal that our next shooter is ....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Basketball junkie

If you're a professional basketballer and your season is just finished, what do you do? Well, if you're hoops-junkie John Rillie, you pack up the family and head to the US in time for March Madness! To keep up to date with his travels and college basketball diaries, stay tuned to his blog.

He's landed in Phoenix but there is no word yet if John will be catching up with our boy Steve Nash to take him on in person with some of the basketball shooting challenges he's laid down.

Click on the title below to read the full story of his arrival in the US and also to see a ridiculous dunk from one of his boys at Gonzaga.

JR, On Fire

My family and I have finally made it to Phoenix, AZ (we used all the above mentioned modes of transport) and I just had to strap on one (toothpicks in eyes) as the NCAA Tourney was just getting interesting as I nestled into my new couch of the next couple of weeks.

I am rather delirious right now so I will make it short in fear of saying something stupid.

My toughest decision of the day was deciding which game to watch. A barn burner in the tourney, VCU/UCLA or a ripper in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavs and the young Portland Trailblazers.

I love these types of decisions and I cannot wait to wake up in the morning refreshed ready to do it all again.

Nathan Jawai update

After some garbage minutes for the Toronto Raptors last month, I hadn't noticed former NBL player Nathan Jawai's name on the boxscore lately. I then saw this article below on the NBL's website saying that Nathan is now playing down a level in the NBDL, probably to get him court-time and get him back in game shape.

While looking for a picture of Nathan, I came across a quick interview (second article) with him that was done a few weeks ago. Click on the titles below to read the full stories.

NBL > News

Australian Nathan Jawai scored a game-high 21 points as his NBDL team, the Idaho Stampede, defeated the Utah Flash 99-92 on Monday at the McKay Events Center.

Jawai, who is on assignment to the Stampede from his NBA team the Toronto Raptors, paced Idaho, going 6-of-11 from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 at the free-throw line.

In 34 minutes of court time, the former Cairns Taipans player and NBL Rookie of the Year also added five rebounds, three assist, two blocked shots and one steal.

It was Jawai's highest score in seven games since joining the Stampede. He is currently averaging 11.0 points and 6.8 rebounds.

One-On-One With Nathan Jawai | Hoops Addict

Published by Ryan McNeill on February 22, 2009

When I first met Nathan Jawai during media day back in October the rookie forward had a grin that stretched from ear-to-ear. And why not, he was living out the dream of going from playing basketball in Australia to the biggest stage in the world in the NBA.

That smile didn’t last long because back in November he was ordered to stay off the court until doctors could determine if his enlarged heart would force him to retire from playing basketball. He has since been given the green light to return but the time away from basketball has affected his conditioning and his confidence. Being a rookie in the NBA is tough, having to endure something like this just makes the burdens of being a rookie while getting used to a new country that much harder.

Hoops Addict recently sat down with Jawai to chat about his rookie season, how his conditioning is improving, what it feels like to have the Australian media following his career so closely and whether he has any plans to play for the national team this summer.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Get it right NBL - says NBA star Andrew Bogut

After not posting for a week or so, I was doing some catch-up and came across the following article. Essentially its Andrew Bogut telling the NBL to get their sh*t together. News about the new season/league has been pretty quiet so its not surprising that many people are wondering what's going on. Click on the title below to read the full story.

Get it right NBL - says NBA star Andrew Bogut | Herald Sun

Carly Crawford
March 18, 2009 12:00am

SUPERSTAR basketball export Andrew Bogut has slammed the game's Australian officials, urging them to hustle with their revamp.

The 213cm Milwaukee Bucks centre said he would eventually like to play at home, but he could not return with the league in such disarray.

'Once my playing career is over, yeah, but there's no sense coming back and playing in a league that's not stable,' Bogut said.

'I'm playing for the best league in the world, so there's no way I would come back to play in the NBL. Down the track I would definitely like to be involved somehow.'

NBL shooting display

The best shooting display of the NBL Grand Final series between the Dragons and the Tigers was definitely delivered by Tremmell Darden in the deciding game 5. I watched the game with friends and while Tremmell is best known for his high flying acrobatics or his slashing drives, in the third quarter he showed his entire repertoire. He was a perfect 7 of 7 from the field including 3 of 3 from deep and just took over the game. Tremmell finished the night with 31 points on 10 of 16 shooting, 3 of 3 from deep, 8 of 11 from the line, 7 boards and 0 turnovers.

From a basketball shooting perspective, you just had to sit back and enjoy the show. Click on the title below to read the full story.

NBL > News

Tremmell Darden has done a lot of different things for the South Dragons this season, but scoring 21 points in one quarter wasn't one of them until he did just that in Game Five of the NBL Grand Final series against the Melbourne Tigers on Friday night.

Only two players have scored more than 20 points in one quarter of a Grand Final game in the history of the NBL – Andrew Gaze in 1993 and Rob Feaster in 2003 - but Darden added his name to that list with a devastating display in the third term of the Dragons' 102-81 victory over the Tigers.

Darden nailed a perfect 7-of-7 from the field – including 3-of-3 from downtown – during the third stanza as the Dragons took control of the contest before eventually cruising to their first Championship.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shooters of the future

Thanks to the team at Dime for breaking down the next batch of great shooters by reviewing some of the top shooters in the college ranks. Click on the title below to read the full story and find out who you need to keep an eye on.

March Madness: Top 15 Shooters | Dime Magazine (www.dimemag.com) : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

By Andrew Katz

Now that the selection committed chose the best 34 teams to fill out the 65-squad bracket, we’ve got a set field of shooters to choose from. There’s no single, definitive guy out there who is widely regarded as the premiere shooter in college hoops. So we pulled the fifteen best shooters out of the Big Dance’s 65 teams in our NCAA Tournament primer.

Scottie Reynolds (pictured below) - Villanova is one of the best teams to watch in the country because of the way that Handsome Jay Wright has them moving the basketball. Reynolds is a big beneficiary of that quick movement so that he’s able to get his quick-release jumper off before defenders can close out on him. Louisville was able to keep Scottie to 2 points in the Big East semi’s, but American University won’t have the athletic defenders needed to hold him down again in round one.

Andy Rautins - Maybe the most dangerous shooter in the field of 65. Andy Buckets numbers don’t indicate that he’s the best in the country, but if he’s hot, he’s a defense’s nightmare. After being in and out of the lineup early in the season, Rautins hit his stride in the Big East tourney, sinking 22 treys in his last six games (3.7 three’s per game).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Next Shooter

I have been MIA over the last week and I do apologise for that. Plenty going on at the moment but I have been able to catch almost all of the NBL grand final series. Speaking of which, I'm heading around to a friend's place tonight to catch the game 5 decider. Go Dragons!!

I'm also heading down to the Gold Coast this afternoon to shoot some more videos for our Basketball Workshop. Who is the mystery shooter we'll be working with?? Stay tuned ...

Friday, March 6, 2009

The NBA’s Most Underrated Closer

I was going to make mention of this yesterday but the crew at Dime beat me to it. I was watching the scoreboard tick over online yesterday for the Boston Celtics vs New Jersey Nets game. Celtics down by three inside the final minute ... who do you go to? Sure, Paul Pierce was on fire yesterday, but when the game is in the balance you go to our Shooter of the Month, Ray Allen.

Refresh the screen, Ray Allen knocks down a triple and then with the game still in the balance he coolly knocks down two free throws to ice it.

Here's what Dime had to say, click on the title below to read the full story and see who people voted as the player they want on the line when free-throws have to be made.

The NBA’s Most Underrated Closer | Dime Magazine (www.dimemag.com) : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

By Austin Burton

It seems everybody forgets that the world “clutch” means more than just hitting game-winners in the final five seconds. Too often, the other aspects of what makes a ballplayer “clutch” get overlooked — and none more than the all-important free throws at the end of a close game, when one team is fouling to try and stop the clock and hoping the other team keeps the door open with some bricks.

That said, Ray Allen doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the best and most consistent clutch performers in the NBA. Never mind that Ray has his share of game-winning and game-tying buckets; most recently he nailed a three in the final minute to tie last night’s Celtics/Nets game, and a couple weeks ago hit a three to beat the Sixers. When it comes to sticking those end-of-game free throws, there’s nobody better in the League.

Here’s a little stat for you: Since Christmas Day ‘08, Ray has missed TWO free throws. Two. He’s 101-for-103 during that stretch — he missed one against the Lakers on 12/25, then another against Phoenix on 2/22. Watch the Celtics the next time they’re trying to protect a lead, even better if it’s on the opposing team’s broadcast: If Ray gets the ball in that situation, the announcers basically concede the game before he even steps up to the line. He doesn’t miss.

Check the concentration and focus ...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ali G and the NBA

Not having Fox (cable TV), I've missed most of the NBA ads from the last couple of years. I posted a few Nike/Jordan ads last month and this morning stumbled across this series from a few years back. Yes, the office is pretty quiet today when I have time to be checking out youtube. Some funny stuff from Ali G, my favourites are the Steve Nash and D-Wade ones.

NBL Grand Final fast facts

With the NBL Grand Final series getting underway tonight between the Dragons and the Tigers, i received the "fast facts" e-mail from the league office this morning.


Game 1 – Hisense Arena, Wednesday March 4, 7:30pm AEDT
Game 2 – State Netball Hockey Centre, Friday March 6, 7:30pm AEDT
Game 3 – Hisense Arena, Sunday March 8, 7:30pm AEDT
* Game 4 – State Netball Hockey Centre, Wednesday March 11, 7:30pm AEDT
* Game 5 – Hisense Arena, Friday March 13, 7:30pm AEDT
* = If required
All games LIVE on FOX SPORTS

All-Time Record: Dragons 4, Tigers 6

At Hisense Arena:
22/10/06 – South 108 lost to Melbourne 128
26/12/06 – South 107 defeated Melbourne 94
15/12/07 – South 88 lost to Melbourne 98
18/10/08 – South 108 defeated Melbourne 80
08/02/09 - South 93 defeated Melbourne 83
10/01/07 – Melbourne 106 defeated South 94
13/10/07 – Melbourne 101 defeated South 98
09/02/08 – Melbourne 132 defeated South 104
13/12/08 – Melbourne 98 lost to South 107
26/01/09 – Melbourne 92 defeated South 86

At this venue:
This is the first ever Grand Final match played at Hisense Arena.

Previous Grand Final games at SNHC:
26/02/06 – Melbourne 103 defeated Sydney 99 (game 2 of 3)
04/03/07 – Melbourne 105 defeated Brisbane 91 (game 2 of 4)
09/03/07 – Melbourne 94 lost to Brisbane 103 (game 4 of 4)
07/03/08 – Melbourne 104 defeated Sydney 93 (game 2 0f 5)
12/03/08 – Melbourne 87 lost to Sydney 90 (game 4 of 5)

This will be the fifth time two teams from the same city have played in the decider and on all four previous occasions the series went the full distance.

Grand Final teams from the same city:
1992: South East Melbourne defeated Melbourne Tigers 2-1
1996: South East Melbourne defeated Melbourne Tigers 2-1
1997: Melbourne Tigers defeated South East Melbourne 2-1
2004: Sydney Kings defeated West Sydney Razorbacks 3-2

Coaches’ Grand Final History:
Brian Goorjian is the all-time games coached leader with 511 wins from 730 games (70%). This is his 13th trip to the Grand Final and this year will make it 6 Championship attempts in the last 7 seasons.

Brian Goorjian: record 37 games, 17 wins, 20 losses, 5 Championships, 7 runners-up
1991 – Spectres vs Wildcats – lost game 1, won game 2, lost game 3
1992 - Magic vs Tigers – lost game 1, won game 2, won game 3
1996 – Magic vs Tigers – lost game 1, won game 2, won game 3
1997 – Magic vs Tigers – lost game 1, won game 2, lost game 3
1998 – Magic vs 36ers – lost game 1, lost game 2
1999 – Titans vs 36ers – lost game 1, won game 2, lost game 3
2000 – Titans vs Wildcats – lost game 1, lost game 2
2003 – Kings vs Wildcats – won game 1, won game 2
2004 – Kings vs Razorbacks – won game 1, lost game 2, lost game 3, won game 4, won game 5
2005 – Kings vs Hawks – won game 1, won game 2, won game 3
2006 – Kings vs Tigers – lost game 1, lost game 2, lost game 3
2008 – Kings vs Tigers – won game 1, lost game 2, lost game 3, won game 4, lost game 5

Alan Westover is the first coach in NBL history to be in the Grand Final in all of his first four years in the job.
Has a 73% winning record overall with 115 wins from 157 matches.
Alan Westover: record 12 games, 7 wins, 5 losses, 2 Championships 1 runners-up
2006: Tigers vs Kings – won game 1, won game 2, won game 3
2007: Tigers vs Bullets – lost game 1, won game 2, lost game 3, lost game 4
2008: Tigers vs Kings – lost game 1, won game 2, won game 3, lost game 4, won game 5

Consecutive seasons in Grand Finals as coach:
5 - Brian Goorjian (96-00)
4 – Brian Goorjian (03-06)
4 – Brian Kerle (84-87)
4 - Alan Westover (06-09)
2 – Brian Goorjian (08-09)
2 – Brian Goorjian (91-92)
2 - Bob Turner (83-84)
2 – Phil Smyth (98-99)
2 – Bruce Palmer (88-89)
2 – Brian Kerle (79-80)
2 – Lindsay Gaze (92-93)
2 – Lindsay Gaze (96-97)
2 – Ken Cole (85-86)
2 – Brett Brown (94-95)

Goorjian is the first and only coach to win 5 NBL Championships. Phil Smyth was the first man to get 6 Championship titles with 3 as a coach and 3 as a player. David Stiff also has 6 titles to his name – all as a player.

5 – Brian Goorjian,
4 - Brian Kerle
3 – Phil Smyth
2 – Lindsay Gaze, Bob Turner, Alan Westover
1 – Murray Arnold, Alan Black, Brett Brown, Cal Bruton, Ken Cole, Jim Ericksen, Adrian Hurley, Brendan Joyce, Jerry Lee, Bruce Palmer, Ken Richardson, Joey Wright

Most Championships: (player)
6 – David Stiff5 – Larry Sengstock4 – John Dorge, Ricky Grace, Paul Rees
3 – Gary Ball, Mark Bradtke, CJ Bruton, Martin Cattalini, James Crawford, Mark Davis, Scott Fisher, Jamie Kennedy, Leroy Loggins, Brett Maher, Herb McEachin, Dave Nelson, Scott Ninnis, Rupert Sapwell, Brad Sheridan, Robert Sibley, Phil Smyth, Andrew Vlahov, Chris Anstey, David Barlow

Winning Franchises:
This will be the 31st NBL Championship to be decided and below is a list of how many championships each team has won.

4 – Adelaide 36ers, Perth Wildcats, Melbourne Tigers
3 – Canberra Cannons, Brisbane Bullets, Sydney Kings,
2 – North Melbourne Giants, South East Melbourne Magic, St. Kilda Saints,
1 – Launceston Casino City, West Adelaide Bearcats, Wollongong Hawks,

The Dragons were the only team that Melbourne could not score 100 points against in a game this year. The Tigers averaged triple-figures against every other team this year except for South and Cairns. Against the Dragons, Melbourne averaged just 88.3 ppg and versus Cairns it was 89.7 ppg. Over the season the Tigers scored 101.6 ppg with a high of 116.3 against Wollongong.

There have been 75 Grand Final matches played in NBL history and just 11 times has a side come from behind at three-quarter time to win. Last year in Game 4 the Kings smashed the comeback record to win after trailing by 13 at the final change.

Best 3/4 time deficits to win a Grand Final match:
13 – Sydney vs Melbourne Game 4 20086 – Sydney vs West Sydney Game 5 2004 – won by 11
6 – Canberra vs Brisbane (single game decider) 1984 – won by 2
5 – Melbourne vs Sydney Game 2 2006 (after overtime) – won by 4
5 – Sydney vs Perth Game 1 2003 – won by 4
4 – North Melbourne vs Canberra Game 1 1989 – won by 6
4 – Brisbane vs Melbourne Game 1 2007 – won by 3
3 – Wollongong vs Townsville Game 3 2001 – won by 3
2 – West Sydney vs Sydney Game 3 2004 (after overtime) – won by 2
1 – Sth East Melb vs Melbourne Game 2 1997 – won by 6
1 – Sydney vs Melbourne Game 1 2008 – won by 21

Only three times since the league switched to a multiple game Grand Final in 1986 has a team lost Game One and gone on to take the title. The first was Brian Goorjian’s Magic in 1992 who recovered from an 18-point loss to the Tigers in the first game to win the next two by 22 and 7. In 1995, Perth lost Game One by 7 but won the next by 9 and 20. The Magic mirrored their 1992 effort in losing the opening match to the Tigers by 11 to win the next two by 4 and 37. Last year the Kings beat the Tigers by 21 but lost the series in 5 games. That’s 23 series and just 4 recoveries from a game one loss.

This year’s playoffs have so far indicated that there is no real advantage to the team that seemed to do well against them in the regular season.

- In the Quarter Finals, Townsville knocked out Perth despite losing 3 of 4 during the season and New Zealand thrashed Adelaide, who beat them twice of three earlier on.
- In the Semis, the Crocs seemed to have an edge over the Dragons with 3 wins to show from 4 matches but were beaten in 3 playoff games and the Tigers swept the Breakers even though they lost the first 2 games of the year against NZ.

In 2006, Melbourne swept the Kings in the decider despite going down 1-2 in the regular season and last year also won the title against Sydney even though they lost all 3 games earlier on.

This will be the fifth straight Grand Final where the first ranked team at the end of the regular season will play second in the decider. Since the Grand final switched to a multiple game series in 1986, there has been just 10 times where the top two ranked teams at the end of the season has gone on to play in the Championship match and surprisingly the second ranked team has defeated the top team in six of those meetings most recently by the Tigers over the Kings last year.
Position 1 defeats position 2 – 2007, 2005, 2003, 1991,
Position 2 defeats position 1 – 2008, 2006, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1989,

Triple-doubles in the Grand Final:
22/10/1994 – Darryl McDonald for North Melbourne vs Adelaide 17 points 10 assists 10 rebounds
28/4/2001 – Robert Rose for Townsville vs Wollongong 16 points 11 assists 11 rebounds
3/4/2003 – Ricky Grace for Perth vs Sydney 15 points 10 assists 10 rebounds

Overtime games in a Grand Final:
11/10/1986 – Adelaide 122 def Brisbane 119 in Game 1 of 3 (regulation 111 all)
22/10/1994 – North Melbourne 95 def Adelaide 93 in Game 1 of 2 (regulation 84 all)
31/03/2004 – West Sydney 82 def Sydney 80 in Game 3 of 5 (regulation 66 all)
26/02/2006 – Melbourne 103 def Sydney 99 in Game 2 of 3 (regulation 94 all)


Biggest Margin:
37 – 1996 Sth East Melb 107 def Melbourne 70
37 – 1997 Melbourne 111 def Sth East Melb 74
28 – 1998 Adelaide 90 def Sth East Melb 62
27 – 2005 Sydney 112 def Wollongong 85

Highest Team Score:
125 – 2002 Adelaide 125 def West Sydney 107
122 – 1986 Adelaide 122 def Brisbane119 (O/T)
121 – 1985 Brisbane 121 def Adelaide 95
120 – 1988 Canberra 120 def North Melb. 95

Lowest Team Score:
62 – 1998 Sth East Melb 62 lost to Adelaide 90
69 – 1999 Victoria 69 lost to Adelaide 80
70 – 1996 Melbourne 70 lost to Sth East Melb 107
72 – 2004 Sydney 72 lost to West Sydney 87

Highest aggregate points:
241 – 1986 Adelaide 122 def Brisbane 119 (O/T)
232 – 2002 Adelaide 125 def West Sydney 107
230 – 1993 Melbourne 117 def Perth 113
218 – 1988 North Melb 117 def Canberra 101
218 – 1990 Perth 112 def Brisbane 106

South Dragons:

1 – Adam Gibson
The only Dragons player that has previously won an NBL Championship. Won with the Bullets in 2007 when they defeated the Tigers in four games and celebrated the Bullets victory at The Cage. Has started all 33 games for the Dragons in his first year at the club and leads the team in three-point shooting at 40.2%. Scored a season high 18-points four times this year. Has hit 25 of his past 26 free-throws and against the Crocs in the Semi Finals shot the ball at 59% overall and made 9 of his 14 three-pointers (64%).

4 – Nathan Herbert
Played 32 games in his second game after 28 in his debut last year and averaged 20 minutes per game in 2009 up from 16 last year. Averaged 7 ppg in 2009 and was the team’s best free—throw shooter at 85.3%. Has taken exactly 200 shots this year – double the exact 100 he took in 2008. Known for his long range bombing, Herbert has made just 1-from-16 over his last 4 games. His father Craig was runner up in the 1982 Grand Final for Geelong against West Adelaide at Newcastle.

6 – Daniel Dillon
Development player who is returning from 4 years at the University of Arizona. Was All-Australian three years in a row as U18 and U16 player. Played junior basketball around Melbourne including Bulleen and Sandringham. Dragons have won all 10 games when he has made it onto the floor.

7 – Joe Ingles
Is the only man that has been there for all 97 matches the Dragons have played since their inception. Led the team in assists (3.6) and was third in scoring at 13.2 ppg. Shot a career best 81.3% from the charity stripe this year (74-from-91) but curiously has yet to get to the free-throw line at all in his 4 playoff games to date. Scored a season high 27 points twice- against Adelaide and Perth- but is still to reach or match the 29-points he debuted with against New Zealand. Will play game number 100 in the 3rd game of the series – as will his team.

10 – Tarriq Naqqash
Made his NBL debut against the Tigers in their first clash this year with 2 points. As with fellow development player Daniel Dillon, South are yet to lose when Naqqash has seen court time in his 6 games. Is playing this season in the SEABL with the Mount Gambier Pioneers.

12 – Tremell Darden
Has started every game this year after being a late call up when original Dragon signing Ebi Ere backed out and signed with the Tigers. Averaged 11 ppg with a best of 22 against the Spirit and averaged 13 against the Tigers this year. Was the 3rd best scorer and the 4th best rebounder for South this year.

14 – Mika Vukona
Led the team in field goal shooting at 57.7% but was the leagues worst free-throw shooter at 33.3% (18-from-54). Scored a season high 12-points against Adelaide. Was the only Dragons to grab more rebounds than score points. Led his team in offensive boards. Missed just one game for the year – game 2 vs the Tigers in December.

15 – Rhys Carter
Waited 6 seasons and 162 games before making his playoff debut last week. Was big in game 3 against the Crocodiles with 16 points. Scored a career best 25 points in their overtime win over the Breakers in January.

22 – Matt Burston
Has played 76 games for the Dragons – second most only behind Joe Ingles. Missed the clubs first 6 games in 2007 through injury with his first in Dragons colours also the clubs first ever win (vs Cairns). His 191 games in 9 seasons makes him the most experienced player on the South roster. Injury cost him a game in game 1 of the 2003 Championship decider and managed just 7 minutes in game 2 in a loss to the Kings while representing the Wildcats.

23 – Donta Smith
Debuted with 9 points against the Gold Coast on Boxing Day. His only double–double came in his first game against the Tigers with 10 points and 11 boards. Shot 59% from the field in the semi-final series against the Crocs averaging 15.3 ppg.

33 – Mark Worthington
Played more minutes this year than any other South player. Was the only player in the league to score double figure points in every game he played. In his 4th year, had career best numbers in points (17.3) and rebounds (7.0). His career high of 35 points came in game one of last years Grand Final against the Tigers. Averaged a team high 20.6ppg in last years Finals series for the Kings. Has a record of 2 wins and 6 losses in his 8 Grand Final matches – all have been against the Tigers.

Melbourne Tigers:

2 – Ebi Ere
Provided one of the best Grand Final highlights when he scored 8 points in a minute in the deciding game 5 in 2004 that turned the result in the Kings favour. Hit 4 triples in the final quarter and led all players in scoring for that series. Played his second season in the NBL 3 years later with Brisbane and also got his team a title. Has scored more points in the competition than any other player in the last 2 seasons.

3 – Luke Kendall
The only member of the Tigers main roster who has yet to taste Championship success. Joined the Tigers at the start of January to replace the injured Sam Mackinnon. Played his first 4 years under Brian Goorjian at Sydney. Missed being a part of the 2005 Championship due to a knee injury suffered just 12 games into his pro career. Lost to the Tigers in both 2006 and 2008 campaigns. Hit a season high 25 points in game 1 of the Semi’s against the Breakers. Plays game number 150 in the 3rdmatch of the series.

4 – Daryl Corletto
Second only to Andrew Gaze as a one club only player in the NBL for the Tigers with 216 games in 8 years. Scored a season high 17 against the Hawks and has a career best 25-points scored twice in 2006. Has played all 12 Grand Final games under Alan Westover alongside Chris Anstey, Dave Thomas and Stephen Hoare.

5 – Tommy Greer
Was thrust into the starting five when the Tigers made their roster changes at Christmas and has stayed ever since with Melbourne’s winning 11 of the 13 since. Scored a career best 13 points against the Spirit in November. Will play his 100th game in game 2 of the GF series. Suited up in 2006 but saw no time in the Grand Final. Missed 2007 through injury but played in all 5 final last year.

11 – David Thomas
Scored the last 7 points for the Tigers in game 5 of last years Championship series and recorded his only 20/10 game of the year (21 points, 12 rebounds). One of a few players that have a better scoring average in the playoffs than the regular season. Played the first 16 games of the year with Cairns before re-joining the Tigers.

12 – Daniel Johnson
A development player in his first season in the NBL. Became a starter in the final 2 games of the season when Chris Anstey was rested. Posted the 2 highest scores of his year in those games – 10 vs the Crocs and 8 against Perth. The Dragons and the Taipans are the only teams Johnson has not yet scored a field goal against.

13 – Chris Anstey
Was voted the Larry Sengstock medallist for best player in the Grand Final Series in both of the Tigers victories in 2006 and 2008. Has been the leagues most prolific scorer and rebounder in the 4 years since his return from overseas in 2006 averaging 20.6 points and 10.4 rebounds in 142 matches. Scored a season high 32 against the Breakers back in September.

15 – Adrien Sturt
Played 17 games in his second season with the club with a career high 6 points against the Hawks. Scored 18 points during the year. A Melbourne Tiger junior.

20 – David Barlow
This is Barlow’s 6th season in the NBL and his 5th time in the Grand Final. His only miss was 2007 where he sat out the final 22 games due to a knee injury. Has a career winning percentage of 73% which actually is increased to 75% in playoffs. With Ebi Ere, has won a championship under both Alan Westover and Brian Goorjian. Fouled out 3 times this year – only Ere and Anstey once each were Melbourne’s only other foul outs this year.

23 – Nathan Crosswell
Started the last 13 games for the Tigers since their mid-season shake up. Also started the first part of last season off the bench but became a starter for the run home and helped lead Melbourne to his first Championship. Played under Brian Goorjian at Victoria in 2002.

33 – Stephen Hoare
The sixth most experienced Tiger ever and currently the longest serving player at the club and has played in 303 games of the clubs 311 since joining them in 2001. Has shot over 54% from the field for the 3rd straight year. Scored a season high 22-points against the Wildcats in November.

41 – Bo Westover
Development player who had minimum minutes in 9 games this year and is yet to hit a field goal in his career. His only score to date has been a made free-throw against the Hawks at The Cage.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

John Rillie starts the healing

After taking a day or two to mourn their NBL Semi-final loss to the Dragons, John Rillie is back in the blogosphere with his thoughts about what went wrong. Having seen all three games, I couldn't agree more with his assessment that the series came down to game 1, not game 3. Opportunity knocks, you have to be ready when it does. Click on the title below to read the full story.

Like Townsville coach Trevor Gleeson says in this article, the Croc players should hold their heads high. They had a good season and should be proud of their efforts.

One final note, I knew it already but its great to see John mention below that he'll definitely be back for another season. If you watched him over the last two months, he's playing way too well to give it away now.

JR, On Fire

I've been in playoff detox for the past 48 hours and like any good addict, it never gets any easier to get over it as the years roll on.

It was another season where we did not achieve what we set out to do. Sure there were not too many people that rated the Crocs at the start of the year, but I always felt that if all things feel into place, we would be a chance.

No doubt we needed luck and things to fall our way, but if I felt the team I played on never had a chance, it is time for me to give the game away. (While on that, there has been some speculation that this may have been my last year. Not so, I'm here for another crack at the title.)

We were very close to making it happen here in Townsville. One game short of making the Grand Final and maybe surprising the Melbourne Tigers. It was not to be, but we had our chances and we just did not capitalize on them when they were presented.

Many people will always remember Game 3 and how the South Dragons over ran us in the end. I would like to turn your attention back to Game 1.

With perfect basketball shooting technique like this, its way too early for JR to retire. Mika Vukona can just watch on as Rillie drains yet another triple.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gold Coast Blaze news

I was checking out the Ozhoops boards this morning and came across this news. It seems that the rumour mill has ex-Brisbane Bullets coach Joey Wright as the new head coach of the Gold Coast Blaze. Nothing has been finalised as yet so it will be interesting to see what happens.

The Boards @ Ozhoops • View topic - Brendan Joyce Fired

Word is Wright will be new coach
Nick Smart- Gold Coast Bulletin (2/3/09)

SPECULATION is rife that former Brisbane Bullets coach Joey Wright will soon be unveiled as the new coach of the Gold Coast Blaze.

The Gold Coast Bulletin understands that incumbent coach Brendan Joyce, who is currently holidaying in Hong Kong and could not be reached yesterday, will be replaced at the club he took to the playoffs in the Blaze's first year.

The Coast struggled with injuries and a tough draw on their way to a wooden-spoon finish in their second season.

The shake-up has already begun with assistant coach Mark Watkins - who declined to comment when contacted yesterday - believed to have already been told his services at the club are no longer required.
The former West Sydney coach has been Joyce's loyal and hard-working right-hand man at the Blaze since their formation.

But it appears the highly respected basketball mind will now be looking elsewhere. With Watkins understood to be out the door, Joyce is expected to soon officially follow suit. The Bulletin believes the former Wollongong championship-winning coach was recently told of his fate by the club.

Sources close to the club suggest Wright - a former Bullets championship-winning coach and two-time NBL coach of the year -has agreed to terms with the Blaze and will be announced once the Coast receive word they have been accepted into the new league.

However, one stumbling block could be the fact Joyce still has two years remaining on his current deal.
The club could have a legal fight on their hands if Basketball Australia force current clubs to honour existing contracts in the revamped competition next season.

An NBL spokesman yesterday said a decision had not been made on whether current contracts remain valid.

Blaze co-owner Owen Tomlinson would not be drawn when contacted by The Bulletin yesterday.
``Brendan Joyce is not gone and Joey Wright is not in,'' he said.
``We haven't really done anything yet, and don't take that as misleading either.
``We haven't made any specific moves.
``We are not going to do anything until we find out officially that we are in the league and that's what we are doing now.
``We are trying to put everything in place and then we can look at the structure of the team and the coaches if we decide to make a change.'

In other Blaze news, not surprisingly Luke Whitehead was rewarded for his extremely productive last couple of months with the team's MVP award. The only question now is, Luke ... what are you wearing??

Brisbane Bullets update

I received an e-mail press release over the weekend with an update on how Brisbane's bid to re-enter the NBL is coming along. Here's the news:

The Brisbane NBL Back ON Board Project today announced that an Expression of Interest (EOI) document was lodged with Basketball Australia ahead of last Friday’s deadline.

All current & prospective National Basketball League teams were required to submit EOI documents to Basketball Australian if they were interested in taking part in the revamped NBL.

Project Consultant Larry Sengstock said "The NBL Back On Board Group are keen to explore the possibility of securing an NBL licence for the people of Brisbane. They are interested in developing a Grass Roots model that will give young players a pathway to the elite level.

Sengstock himself a legend of the league as well as a world recognised sports administrator said that “Given Brisbane’s proud history in the NBL there is no doubt that having a Brisbane based team will be important to the League.

“Now that the proposal has been submitted to the Basketball Australia Board, it will be determined by their Board of Directors who will take part in the new NBL”.

“We have been able to identify commercial support for our proposal and believe that with support from the broader basketball community a Brisbane team could be back in the NBL.
Mr Sengstock added that although the project had been initiated by Basketball Queensland the proposal was for private ownership of the licence with Basketball Queensland providing the linkage to the sports grassroots.