After a weekend on the road which the Bendigo Spirit would rather forget, it’s time to do it all again.
After returning from an interstate road trip to Townsville and Sydney last weekend, the Spirit will now fly across to Western Australia for a clash with the Perth Lynx on Friday night and then to Canberra where they will play the UC Capitals on Sunday.
Reflecting upon the double loss weekend, coach Simon Pritchard said there was a lot to be learned from the team’s back-to-back losses.
“The take away is that we need to play much greater defence and we have to start our games with much more purpose,” Pritchard said.
“We need to be able to keep teams to reasonable first quarter scores and not allow ourselves to get behind.
“Defensively we didn’t follow the scout and didn’t do the job we needed to against Sydney, particularly early in the game.”
The Spirit followed up their 42-point loss to Townsville last Thursday night with a 21-point defeat from Sydney Uni, 85-64, on Saturday.
“We allowed Sydney to free up and take shots whenever they felt like it,” Pritchard said.
“Sydney shot well in the first quarter with 67 per cent from the three-point line which is astronomical.”
Another element of the Spirit’s on court performances which Pritchard will be keeping a close eye on is the team’s ability to “quicken up movement away from the ball”.
“We need to be able to stay between our player and the basket,” he said.
“We can’t let the opposition get between us and the basket...it’s an effort and timing thing.”
After the loss to Townsville the team had an “open and bare” discussion around individual players being accountable for their actions during the game.
“It’s easy for me to make them accountable at training because I can blow my whistle and stop things,” he said.
“I can’t stop things once the game is underway, they need to be accountable to each other and they need to put the pressure on and do what they need to do.
“Individuals are not doing their jobs, there’s a number of players in the team who are not containing their player and putting us in to rotations.
Pritchard said the team knew the five games on the road were going to be “a testing run”.
“If we can win a couple games through this stretch we should be okay,” he said.
Bendigo Spirit (6-6) will play the Perth Lynx (8-2) this Friday night at the Bendat Basketball Centre, tip-off at 6:30pm AWST.
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