The Mike Pero Nelson Giants are a rejuvenated team enjoying their basketball.
Back-to-back National Basketball League road wins over the Taranaki Mountainairs and third-placed Canterbury Rams, and a competitive outing against title contender Southland Sharks on Saturday night, has the team feeling reinvigorated for a return to Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre this Saturday night against Taranaki.
”We’ve gone back to enjoying playing basketball and enjoying playing with each other,” head coach Brendon Bailey says.
“We know we let our home fans down with the way we started the season, but I think the results are showing that we have found a style of play that is working and that we are having fun producing.
That 0-6 run to start the 2017 campaign saw import Joe Slocum and coach Alan McAughtry depart while Aussie point guard Kyle Adnam and American big man Morgan Grim added to the roster.
Brendon was promoted from assistant coach and the team has certainly gone from strength-to-strength since.
“The guys worked really hard to get the win in Christchurch against the Rams and, while we have some guys who are beat up and bruised physically after six away games and a month on the road, everyone is really excited to get home and play some good basketball in front of our fans.”
The team has found strong offensive production from Dion Prewster who seems to have taken on the mantle of the team’s leading scorer.
The important thing is that he is getting back-up from fellow starters Morgan, Kyle, Finn Delany and Sam Dempster.
The defence is also improving with Sam pulling down more rebounds as the captain looks to lead from the front.
“The arrival of Morgan has certainly helped us shore up (our defence) in the middle and offered us some leadership; but all the guys are making more of an effort contesting shots and hitting the floor, diving on balls and trying to get those 50-50 chances.
Brendon says there is no place like home and the whole team is eager to get back to The Hangar and show what they can do in the second half of the season.
“I’m confident this team has more wins in them and we are keen to show our home fans what we can do.”
The Giants still have six home games left in 2017.
The Mountainairs come to town this Saturday night before the Waitakere Super City Rangers visit on Friday May 12, The Hawke’s Bay Hawks arrive on Friday May 19, the league-leading Wellington Saints drop in on Friday May 26, The Rangers return for a Sunday afternoon game on June 4 before the Saints round out the regular season on Saturday, June 10.