Discover more from The Pick and Roll
Seven Seconds or Less: Creek is our real MVP
1. Mitch Creek: You the real MVP
Some things are bigger than basketball. Yes, there are plenty of things to talk about after the South East Melbourne Phoenix's game against the New Zealand Breakers, however none of them top what a number of athletes, including Mitch Creek, are doing for bushfire relief.
Creek donated $100 per three Phoenix made, auctioned a pair of his custom Looney Tunes shoes for $4000 and chucked in an extra $500 just because. The total was $5,500 from just one night, great stuff Creeky.
2. Dane Pineau aka 'The Glass Cleaner'
Young gun Dane Pineau put in a mountain of work against the Breakers despite the team going down. He recorded 17 points, shooting the ball at 66% from the field, and 20 rebounds in a stellar effort.
His 20 boards were the most registered in a non-overtime game since 2009. He also only had one less rebound than the entire Breakers starting lineup combined. Say hello to 'The Glass Cleaner'.
3. Farewell, Mr Benson
Time and time again we've spoken about Keith Benson in this series, and it looks as though the saga has finally ended. It is believed the two parties mutually agreed to part ways, which seemed on the cards for a long time.
Benson has already found another team and is set to play in the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, Phoenix are on the lookout for a new import big man.
4. Can someone find the D?
Firstly, get your mind out of the gutter. Secondly, South East Melbourne need to fix their defence. Once again they put points on the board, but they struggled to consistently get stops, which in the end cost them.
The Breakers shot 48% from the field, which meant it was always going to be difficult for Phoenix to take home the win. They need to find their defence ASAP.
5. Good to be back in the Heartland
Although they went down, it was good to see basketball back in the suburbs. A packed crowd filled the State Basketball Centre to cheer on South East Melbourne in what was a good atmosphere.
If you want to check it out, the Phoenix will be back there on Sunday 26 January against the Cairns Taipans.
6. The starters need help
We've said it before and we've said it again, South East Melbourne's bench output needs to lift. Adam Gibson was the only player to come off the bench for Phoenix and hit the scoreboard.
They were outscored by 18 in regards to points off the bench against New Zealand. Considering they only went down by five points, it's one big gap.
7. Losing touch
Phoenix have now slipped to 8th on the ladder, only sitting above Illawarra. They are quickly losing touch with the top four and now sit three wins behind Cairns with a game in hand.
South East Melbourne have nine regular-season games left and need to flip the switch now, if they are going to keep their finals hopes alive.