1. The Phoenix are NOW officially an NBL team
Let’s be honest, unless you’ve gone over to Perth and been handed a road loss you’re not really part of the league. The Phoenix lost 110-79, with the Wildcats only committing four turnovers for the entire game.
Welcome to the NBL!
2. This team has serious mettle
You get handed your first loss in the league, and it’s by 31 points in Perth. Next thing you have to fly back home to front up and play at home in two days time.
The Phoenix showed what they are made of by knocking over Adelaide on Sunday. A strong defensive third quarter was the catalyst, and nailing 15 threes at 40% always helps as well.
3. Adam Gibson is still a star
Despite being 32-years-old and coming into the season with injury issues, this weekend Adam Gibson reminded everyone how valuable he is.
He was one of South East Melbourne’s better players against Perth, recording nine points, four assists and three rebounds in under 18 minutes. He followed it up with an even better game against Adelaide, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals in just over 25 minutes.
4. Harry Froling is Phoenix fans’ favourite opposition player
Harry Froling had some great minutes for the 36ers against South East Melbourne. He finished with 11 points and three rebounds in just 14 minutes.
But the biggest stat of all, well for Phoenix fans anyway, was the 1-3 from the free throw line. It included a pair of missed free throws, which means free cheeseburgers, and when a man gets you free burgers how can you not love him.
5. Look after the rock
If there’s one thing you can’t do on the road, it’s turn the ball over. Against Perth the Phoenix had 11 turnovers, which was actually less than they had on Sunday against Adelaide, however the Wildcats only had four.
The result for South East Melbourne was a -15 points differential in regards to points from turnovers. Away from home, that kills.
6. Live and die by the three?
We all know that South East Melbourne is an incredible three-point shooting team. With the likes of John Roberson, Ben Madgen, Kendall Stephens, and more, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
They struggled from deep against Perth, shooting 7/26 (26%). The three players mentioned above went for a combined 4/18. Meanwhile, on Sunday Phoenix shot the deep ball at 40% (15/37), resulting in a win. Not making the call yet, but this could be a team that lives and dies by the three.
7. We love Dane Pineau
We were big on him last week, and once again Dane Pineau proved why he is one of the more exciting young up and coming players in the league. Over two games this weekend he played just over 48 minutes, recording 16 points (75%FG), 16 rebounds (eight offensive), and a +/- of +7.
Those might not seem like massive numbers, but Pineau does the little things so well and is there when his team needs him. The +/- stat is a clear indicator of his influence considering they lost to the Wildcats by 31 points on Friday night.