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THE QUEST FOR THE RING BEGINS……….

October 13, 2010

 

What’s up ballers!  It’s ‘ITG’ time!  After an off-season that was entirely too long for my liking, it’s  finally that time again and oh boy, it should be a dooosey!

This weekend 9 fellowships will begin their 5-month journey for the ‘RING of POWER’!  Who will gain or retain HER favour?

The experts have made their choice and the Perth Wildcats are apparently the team to beat this upcoming season.  And I’m quite sure that the other 8 teams are perfectly fine with this!  “Perth can have the pressure, as long as we don’t!”

Now, let’s take a brief look at each team, shall we.

Perth Wildcats (Defending Champs):  After winning the NBL’s pre-season tournament, the Top End Challenge in Darwin, many have picked them as favourites to repeat as Ring-Bearers this season!  But with no Cat, no Galen Young & no Big Red, the ‘Dynamics’ of that championship team have changed!  Yes, they have brought in Matthew Knight to replace Big Luke and maybe Stephen Weigh and Cam Tovey combined can ‘help’ replace Cat, but who will fill the void left by Galen Young?  That move was ‘checkmate’ for Bevo & his crew but will he need to make the same move this season?  I believe so!  I think that Bevo is onto something here.  He doesn’t want an import straight away.  He wants his team to jell beforehand and then bring in an import after he’s certain about where their services are most needed! 

Wollongong Hawks (Runner-up):  Their inspirational but sometimes overzealous commanding officer, (isn’t ‘Squash’ a vegetable?) has almost the same team back.  Irvin may not be McKee, but he doesn’t have to be!  He’s got some game of his own jack!  Oscar Forman should fit in well with Gordo’s system and beware of the Coenraad!  Saville’s play & LD’s health will be huge factors as always! But let’s face it; if you haven’t learned by now…….never, ever underestimate a Gordie McLeod team!!

Townsville Crocodiles (3rd Place):  “A Rivederci” to the League & Club MVP Corey ‘Homicide’ Williams.  But let’s get real for a second!  That move took some serious COJONES!  Here’s the thing…if the Crocs don’t at least get as far as last season, that decision may come back to ‘CROC’ them!  They do have some size & athleticism!  A healthy Michael Cedar won’t hurt either.  But check this……how much did they miss John Rillie last season?  Nobody wants to talk about that….but I will!!  They missed the hell out of Rills!

Gold Coast Blaze (4th Place): They blew Game 2 of the Semis to the eventual champions and had to bear that the entire offseason….ouch!  Gone are Ubaka and Maxey.  They’ve resigned young Simba, Chris Goulding and have recently signed Wortho!  That’s BIG!  This dude James Maye, well I’m going to just nickname him ‘Piro’ now, because apparently he’s capable of lighting asses up!  The Blaze started off slow last season, but they have upgraded!  Coach Wright’s boys will contend again this season!  And yo, don’t lunch on Stephen Hoare!  What he brings mostly shows up in the ‘Win’ column!

New Zealand Breakers (5th Place): Is this the year that Coach Lemanis leads his talented team to the Grand Final?  Is the pressure building?  Since Captain Kirk wasn’t beamed-up to the NBA, he should be returning shortly.   That is, if he doesn’t decide to go ‘Euro’.  Unlikely, so if they can secure the services of Sean Marks than watch out!  If no Marks, than they should strongly consider talking Tony Ronaldson out of retirement!  I mean that!  Even with their new import Gary Wilkinson they need another vet!  On another note…..if the Breakers underachieve again this season, will Coach Lemanis start looking over his shoulder……..perhaps for Pero Cameron?

Melbourne Tigers (6th Place):  I wonder if the Tigers are still upset with me.  You see last season after Anstey went down with an injury, I BOLDLY predicted that the Tigers wouldn’t even make the play-offs……and I was right!  But I don’t think it went down too well!  Wortho said that I put pressure on them!  Sorry Wortho, but maybe it was the ‘Losses’ that done that!  Oh well, after last season’s debacle, the Tigers will be looking for some serious ‘James Brown Payback’ this year and they have the size & athleticism to do it!  They are the biggest team in the competition!  The key will be the play of their guards and whether or not they can consistently handle the pressure!  I’m also intrigued to see Trigger at the 3-spot!

Cairns Taipans (7th Place):  Last season’s ‘Giant-Killers’ recorded some big wins and actually had a sniff at a play-off spot down the stretch!  They’re a much improved team this time around with the acquisition of Ubaka & Loughton!   Surprise, surprise, surprise….I’ve picked these guys in my Top 4, but only if the Breakers don’t bring in another vet in the frontcourt!  But yo, what’s up with them sending their import, Arizona home after apparently drinking & driving?  Didn’t Catman and D. Vale both get busted for this very thing?  I don’t recall hearing their asses being sent home!  Anyway, let’s see if Fearney brings his import(s) off the bench again this season!!!  Players to watch, Ayinde Ubaka, Alex Loughton & Mr. Consistent himself, ‘Not So Slim’ Dusty!

Adelaide 36ers: (Last Place):  Last season was EMOTIONAL to say the least!  But there’s a new sheriff in town & he along with his troops, do more work before 6am than most of you slackers do all day!  Yo, it’s true!  You should see their workload!  The Sixers will go into every game undersized.  Team rebounding will be crucial, but I tell you what…NO team will be in better shape!  They will look to pressure the ball in the half and full court!  And they will also run and shoot the 3 baby…and run some more!  No doubt that they will be competitive, but some early wins could bring it all together quite nicely!

Sydney Kings (New Kids on the Block):  Ahhhhh Barry White….one of my all-time favorites!  His song, “My First, MyLast, My Everything” comes to mind when thinking about these Kings.  This is their ‘First’ season back, ‘Last’ place in the comp seems likely and even with Connor Henry as an assistant, ‘Everything’ will not be kinglike for the Kings!  Keep a stiff-eye on Adelaide local Ben Madgen, he’ll challenge for ROY honours!

Well that’s my take!  What’s your?  Hit me up!

And don’t forget to join me every Friday from 6pm on the ‘Inside the Game’ Basketball Show at www.australialivetv.com!

Holla,

‘The Brown Hornet’

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