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Seven Seconds or Less: On the Phoenix's dynamic duo and the Flying Gibbo
1. The dynamic duo isn't enough
John Roberson and Mitch Creek were back up to their old tricks against the Adelaide 36ers, but sadly they didn't have any help. Creek finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, meanwhile Roberson put in 26 points of his own.
Together, the two combined for 57% of the South East Melbourne Phoenix's total score (53/93). They remain one of the most prolific duos in the league, however haven't had the help the support that others have had.
2. Handle on Randle part III
We're starting to sound like a broken record whenever Phoenix play Adelaide, but Jerome Randle has put them to the sword all season. He poured in a season-high 35 points, to go along with seven rebounds, and four assists.
The point guard came up big in the fourth, including a seven-point stretch which turned a five-point deficit into a two-point lead for the 36ers. Just too good.
3. What happened to Wesley?
Unfortunately for the Phoenix, Tai Wesley couldn't quite put it together on Sunday afternoon. The import came off the bench for 28 minutes, however struggled to get going, shooting 3/11 from the field for six points.
We know how good Wesley can be, but it will be interesting to see if South East Melbourne keep him around for next season. Watch this space.
4. Flying Gibbo
He maybe be 33 and on the back of his NBL career, but Adam Gibson is still surprising us. With the game on the line late in the fourth quarter, 'Gibbo' pulled out a stunning chase down block, and in fact, won the ball back for Phoenix.
Now, the block may have been on Brendan Teys, but we're not taking anything away from the great man. There is nothing quite like the sight of a 'Flying Gibbo'.
5. Please sir, may I have some more bigs?
Excuse the horrendous pun, but as we've stated before, South East Melbourne is desperate for a big defensive anchor in the paint. Dane Pineau is an incredibly handy player, however at 6'9" can struggle against the big 7-footers or guys close to it like Daniel Johnson.
An import centre like Shawn Long should be on the wishlist during the offseason. But if they are looking for someone more local, Matt Hodgson could do the trick and has performed well of late.
6. Faulty clutch?
This loss against the 36ers marks the third game in a row that Phoenix have lost by seven points or less. Although they are in their debut season, they do have a number of experienced players, but getting over that winning hump seems to be the issue.
We're not sure exactly what the fix is, however the lack of bench production has led to many starters playing bulk minutes. The heavy minutes could very well have impacted them down the stretch.
7. End the season on a W
There are three games of the season left for South East Melbourne. Sadly now they have lost five straight games, and the pressure is on to chalk another win before the season ends.
First up is Sydney, and although the league leaders will go in as obviously favourites, it's a chance for Phoenix to claim one last big scalp before the season ends.