Seven Seconds or Less: Point problems and Benson lives!
1. Tai Wesley is REALLY back
On Saturday night the Tai Wesley we all know and love was really back. Sure he’d returned from injury a few games back, however he hadn’t seen him explode back like he did against the Hawks.
The big man scored 25 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists to help guide South East Melbourne to an important win. Great timing considering Phoenix still have plenty left to do.
2. Bench = Adnam or bust
The bench production is a cause of concern for South East Melbourne because if Kyle Adnam doesn’t perform, they get almost nothing off the pine. In both games they had this weekend only two players off the bench scored for Phoenix.
Adnam is having a sensational season, however they will need other contributors if they want to succeed in the long run.
3. Point guard problems
We’ve spoken a number of times in past weeks about how Phoenix have struggled to contain Jerome Randle. Well, this week the issue was Carins’ Scott Machado, who exploded for 29 points and eight assists.
Machado proved the difference in that game and it once again highlighted South East Melbourne’s issue guarding the point guard position. Some things will need to change if they want to make the top four this season.
4. Benson lives!
All season long there have been questions regarding Keith Benson and South East Melbourne. He has had a string of DNPs and games of less than 10 minutes, but on the weekend featured solidly in both fixtures.
Against Illawarra he had six points and five rebounds in 16 minutes and had eight points and six board in 13 minutes against the Taipans. By no means are all the questions answered, however it could be a sign of things to come.
5. Simon Mitchell is all class
Time and time again Simon Mitchell has shown us how classy he is. He did it again after his team’s loss to Cairns while speaking to the press.
It’s been a successful 2019 for the league’s newest team in the league. Even though not all of the results have gone their way, it appears as though South East Melbourne have hired the right man for the top job.
6. Good to see Gibbo
Although he didn’t have a massive impact on the game, Adam Gibson made his return to the floor against Cairns. The veteran had missed three games due to injury and was a notable absence for Phoenix.
Although it was only a short stint out, it was still great to see Gibbon back on the floor. There is little doubt he will be an important factor for South East Melbourne off the bench as the season gets towards finals.
7. State Centre blockbuster
A massive crowd is expected to roll in for what should be an excellent game next week at the State Centre between South East Melbourne and New Zealand. Although 5th vs 6th doesn’t necessarily scream blockbuster, the two 8-10 teams are pushing hard for the top four and will have all guns blazing.
It’ll be great to see basketball back in the suburbs of Melbourne and no doubt the State Centre will be at full capacity.