Melbourne Tigers Fans – Be Patient
The Melbourne Tigers win/loss record dropped to 0-3 on Sunday with a 74-65 loss to the championship favourite Perth Wildcats at Hisense Arena. While some people panic and throw negatives around the Internet, I’m here to offer you some positives from Sunday’s game.
Seth Scott – When I saw Scott play in a pre-season game at MSAC against the Wollongong Hawks he looked tentative and quite frankly a little lost. It was to be expected as he was brand new to a team which had in itself changed quite dramatically over the off-season. What a difference a month or so makes though as Scott is finding his feet rapidly and playing some great basketball. His athletic play is something the Tigers really need to capitalise on as he is their main post scorer right now, as well as being able to connect from range.
Chris Goulding – Employee #43 didn’t make an appearance at the pre-season game I viewed due to a nagging shoulder injury. Although Goulding committed nine turnovers on the weekend, he did find some shooting touch from both inside and out. With his high energy play there’s little doubt that Goulding will create plenty of opportunities for both himself and his team mates.
Kevin Braswell – Another late addition to the squad, Braswell has perhaps the Tigers’ hardest job in being the “floor general” of a brand new team. After Sunday’s loss to the Wildcats, Braswell was asked about the abundance of team turnovers and he answered by taking responsibility. “I have to take a lot of that on my shoulders” said Braswell, in a positive sign that the performance won’t be acceptable moving forward. Defensively Braswell was sharp collecting four steals while also keeping the Tigers close on the offensive end. There were a few wayward field goal attempts but 6 of 14 from the field isn’t as horrible as some people are suggesting.
Lucas Walker – While no doubt still recovering from the shoulder he injured in Week 2, Walker played limited minutes on Sunday yet remained mildly influential. His line of six points, two rebounds and one assist came in just eight minutes of action which on a busier day would convert to quite a nice Dream Team score if nothing else. Once his shoulder injury is completely behind him, you can expect to see Walker continue his improved form, crashing boards and slashing to the basket.
The road ahead – With the defending champion New Zealand Breakers coming to town this week, it’s probably not the best time to “bet the house” on a Tigers victory. Beyond this game however is a schedule that might produce some brighter results.
After the Breakers game, the Tigers play their next four games at home against the Townsville Crocs, Adelaide 36ers and Sydney Kings before moving back to their now secondary home the “Cage” to face the red-hot Wollongong Hawks. The Crocs are vulnerable right now having not yet secured a win this season either, while both Adelaide and Sydney have already taken victories over this newly-formed Melbourne squad.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold and the Tigers could sure use a couple of revenge games against Adelaide and Sydney. As for Wollongong, this has the chance to be a true momentum victory, as long as the work is put in beforehand.
Of the upcoming five games, taking wins in three of them would steady the ship for Melbourne’s season leaving them perched at 3-5.
Be patient Tigers fans as this team is going to need a little more time together to get things going.
Come and get involved on Friday night at Hisense Arena and help the Tigers find their feet this season.