The Bendigo Spirit are back on home court on Sunday against the Sydney Uni Flames.
Despite Sydney’s seven straight losses so far in the 2018/19 WNBL season, Spirit head coach Simon Pritchard firmly believes they are a “dangerous unit” and much more of a threat than he had first anticipated.
“I’ve watched three games of theirs and I can’t believe how unlucky they have been losing three games under five points,” Pritchard said.
“They are only down in a couple of areas and have a really good inside perimeter presence.
“This is going to be a real danger game.”
Pritchard said it was important for the Spirit not to approach the game with a care-free attitude.
“I’m very wary of Sydney, we need to do a bit of preparation because they will have a couple days off before they play us,” he said.
After consecutive losses Pritchard believes teams “get desperate” and once they head out onto the court “they are very hungry for a win”.
“And that’s the danger for us.”
In the lead-up to the game the Spirit have been predominantly focusing on improving defence and attacking moves.
“If we are able to get the combination right, we will be fine,” he said.
“At this stage we’re the best defensive team in the league...so statistically I’m happy with what we have been doing.”
One of the key elements of utilising the most of the team’s defensive plays is ensuring they occur at the correct moments throughout the game.
“Are we defending well towards the start of the game when it isn’t as important or are we defending well towards the end when the game is on the line?” Pritchard said.
“We’ve got to continue working on our defence.”
Throughout the week senior Spirit players worked directly with some of the younger players to help develop their on-court performance in the lead-up to the game against Sydney and for the rest of the season.
In the most recent WNBL round, the Spirit had back-to-back victories defeating Adelaide Lightning 70-52 at the Bendigo Stadium last Saturday and Melbourne Boomers 60-58 at the State Basketball Centre last Monday.
In the round five opener on Thursday night, Sydney Uni Flames were defeated by Melbourne Boomers 79-96.
Bendigo Spirit (4-2) will play Sydney Uni Flames (0-7) on its home court this Sunday at the Bendigo Stadium, tip-off at 2pm.
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