Seven Seconds or Less: Killa Kyle, and let's talk about Keith, shall we?
1. Work to do
Two tough losses leave the South East Melbourne Phoenix 7-9 and with work to do if they want to make the playoffs. They currently sit sixth on the table and need to turn things around quickly.
Phoenix are only a win back from fourth spot, however are part of a pack of five all chasing that final playoff position. The league’s newest franchise is getting a serious test.
2. Can’t always come back
South East Melbourne won the final quarter in both their games this weekend but failed to deliver a win. We’ve spoken in the past about how they are capable of incredible comebacks, however it’s not always easy coming from behind.
This team needs to make things easier for themselves in the future. Especially considering what they will need to do in the back half of the season.
3. Killin’ em like Kyle
It’s been a breakout season for Kyle Adnam and he was back at it on Sunday. In just under 24 minutes off the bench, the 26 year old scored 24 points to go along with four assists.
Phoenix’s bench hasn’t been one of its strong suits, but Adnam has been a shining light. Keep killin’ em Kyle.
4. Where’s the D?
There is no doubt that South East Melbourne is one of the more entertaining teams to watch in the league, however if they want to win more games their defence needs to improve. They have allowed the third-most points as a team this season, with the other sides that have allowed more also having played one extra game.
As a new side there was always going to be kinks that needed to be worked out as a team. Their performance on the defensive end should be at the top of the list.
5. Can’t stop Creek
It seems there is just no stopping Mitch Creek from having an impact in a ball game. Against the Breakers he had 24 points (66% FG), three rebounds, and two assists and was clearly the best on court for South East Melbourne.
Creek didn’t shoot the ball at that level against Sydney, scoring 16 points on 7/16 shooting. However, he led his team in rebounds with 12 and also pitched in three steals and two assists. There is no keeping this man down.
6. We have to talk about Keith
What is going on with Keith Benson and South East Melbourne? The big man has had one of the most bizarre seasons we’ve seen from an import without explanation. Over the weekend he played a combined total of nine minutes despite his team losing both games.
It seems unlikely that he is battling through injury, otherwise, you would’ve expected Phoenix to keep Jaye Crockett around. And if it isn’t injury, then it’s time to talk about Keith.
7. Big week coming up
Up next for Phoenix is two winnable games, on against Illawarra and the other against Cairns. It’s a big week and one that could make or break their season.
If they can secure two wins they will be right back on track and have some momentum going into the new year. Let’s see what they’ve got.