The Breakers had interesting 2015/16 season. A run to the Grand Final was a great effort considering the ups and downs throughout the regular season.
WHAT WENT WELL
The New Zealand Breakers peaked at the right time. They timed their run perfectly and after only just scraping into the Finals, were just one win away from Championship glory.
Their 2-0 series win over Melbourne showcased the experience and determination that the Breakers are renowned for. They had Melbourne's measure when it mattered most. Players such as Tom Abercrombie and Mika Vukona played with more guts than their opponents, and when the going got tough it was the Breakers who wanted it more.
I think it's safe to say Charles Jackson wanted the win too.
A video posted by The NBL (@nbl) on Feb 20, 2016 at 12:18am PST
WHAT WENT WRONG
At the time, the Breakers mid-season slump threatened to derail their season. As we know, they were able to regain form and make a run to the Finals, but their 6-game losing streak which started in late December was the low point of the regular season.
This slump forced New Zealand to take a look at themselves and play with a renewed vigour as they fought to stay in the Finals race. They bounced back quickly, and went on to win their last 5 games.
Winning game three of the Grand Final in Perth was always going to be tough. It was basically mission impossible with Perth playing the way they did. The Wildcats blew the Breakers out of the water and New Zealand had no answers, eventually going down by 23 points.
Perth's defence was stifling, holding New Zealand to just 52 points.
There are two names that come to mind and are very hard to split when thinking about the most valuable player for New Zealand. Cedric Jackson and Corey Webster are both integral and exciting parts of the Breakers line-up.
I've decided to go with Cedric Jackson as the MVP for this season, due to his stellar play throughout the Finals. Jackson did it all for New Zealand throughout the season, and stepped it up in the Finals.
Throughout the 5 post-season games, Jackson averaged 13.2 points, 4.2 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Unfortunately for New Zealand, he was unable to produce those numbers in the Championship deciding game 3 against Perth, in which he went scoreless.
New Zealand should be very proud of their season. At times it looked as if they'd miss the Finals, but we were once again reminded to never write off the Breakers.
Just one win away from being crowned Champions, the New Zealand Breakers receive an A for their efforts in the 2015/16 campaign.