So, is it too late and too close to the games to do a blog? Not sure but you’re going to get one anyway! Just seems that it’s been too long since the last one and I really need to put down my marker as we enter the Play-Offs.
Thoughts on the regular season? Disappointed, frustrated, unfulfilled? All words I’ve heard from supporters, players, coaches and many others alike to be honest. For me, I’d have to agree although it takes a lot for me to be disappointed about a basketball season with the Eagles.
I said right at the beginning in pre-season that this was going to be a fun, exciting side to watch and we could break some records. I was right, wasn’t I? Unfortunately, the records we broke were all ones we’d rather not have done.
First loss to Rocks in five years and first series head-to-head loss to them in ten. The same with Surrey in regard to the season series. Not making the semi-finals of either knock-out competition for the first time in aeons.
Then ultimately not making the top two in the BBL for the first time in over ten years. Yet, we still finished third and we were the highest scoring team in the BBL and did provide a lot of entertainment all year.
Would we have settled for less entertainment and more glory? You betcha but hey, that’s life. We took a gamble at the beginning of the year bringing in so many untried BBL rookies and it hasn’t quite worked out but believe you me it wasn’t for the want of trying or desire.
We rolled with the punches but unlike other years were a bit slower getting back up and it cost us. I’m not sure the team deserved some of the criticism that came its way but when you set your standards as high as we have then you must accept that brickbats will come your way when it doesn’t all work out.
So, I’m guessing that some of you will be wondering who, if any, will be coming back and who you’d have back. Well, we’re thinking the same things and have our thoughts on the matter too.
Funnily enough though it’s not always about what we want. It’s also about what the players want to do moving forward. There are lots of decisions, discussions and thought processes to go through and you know the drill by now, when we know, and it’s confirmed we’ll tell all!
But hey, forget all that stuff and nonsense, isn’t there still a lot, hopefully, of basketball still to be played? Yes, at least two games that I know of and what of those two games?
Not sure how closely you’ve looked at our record this season but against the seven sides in the play-offs we only won two series. One against Sheffield 3 – 0 and the other against, yes, you’ve got it Bristol 3 – 0.
Flyers have had a great season. Their best so far in The BBL. A sixth-placed finish, their most wins overall and both at home and on the road BUT ……………………………… in sixteen attempts since their arrival in The BBL they haven’t beaten us!
So, perhaps, that third placed finish might actually end up being a blessing in disguise? I guess we’re about to find out and of course we’re certainly not taking it for granted or being complacent. Training is focused, and video will be watched so we can be ready.
As one player said to me last week, “it’s play-off time which means you’re either ready or you’re out!” Which brings me to my next point of rambling rubbish.
This is an inexperienced BBL side which possibly means they still have a non-BBL mentality in some respects? If that is so then perhaps the Play-Offs will be the one they really want to win as it’s that old chestnut, last man standing and all that.
Plus, I have a feeling that ever since Leicester were confirmed as Champions, well done Robbie P and your boys BTW, this team of ours have been eyeing the play-offs and looking to be ready for them. Now I might be wrong, I often am, but I just have a feeling that’s all.
Bristol will not be pushovers. Far from it. You only have to look at last year to realise that. In the first leg down in Bristol we seemed to be coasting to a big first-leg advantage to bring back to The Nest and then suddenly Flyers came back, and we only had a three-point cushion going in to the second leg.
But it was a three-point cushion and an away victory. However, Coach K’s men never gave it up and the second leg was immensely fraught and nerve-wracking, but we eventually prevailed by two points and a five-point margin on aggregate. Yep, it was that close!
Now fast forward to this year and some would say that this Bristol team is better than last year’s whilst we’re not quite as good? I’ll leave that one for others to decide but what it does mean is that we must be ready or we’re out.
However, I am expecting and hopeful that we will go through and then if we do who will we get? That again is a tough one as there really are some cracking match-ups in the quarters.
Leicester may well be without Pierre and Thommo when they face Sheffield and that makes it a tough match-up for the Champs. Plus, Sheffield are buoyant now that they’ve finally booked their place.
For me I’m going to take Leicester whether or not they have Thommo and/or Pierre. Somehow, some way they always seem to find away. So, Leicester to be in the semi-finals for me and still the #1 seed.
Surrey v Glasgow. Honestly, I think this is impossible to call. But, call it I will. I think it’ll be Glasgow but only just. Surrey have been quite incredible at home but on the road, I think Glasgow have the edge. So, for me both sides to win at home but Rocks by a few more and then they’ll be through to face ??? Well, I think it may well be us!
My reason for that? I just have a feeling that Worcester might be good enough over two legs to oust Lions. That may seem a bit mad as London under Vince have been immense since the turn of the year but, Worcester are in prime form at the moment and I think like us have a point to prove after perhaps not having the season they’d hoped for.
If I’m right and as I’ve already said I’m not that often, then Wolves would be the lowest seed and therefore would face Leicester leaving us to right the season’s wrongs with Rocks.
So, there you go. A blog and I’ve put myself on the line. Now I’m just off to find a hankie so that on Sunday night I can wipe the egg off my face and look back at being so foolish to make predictions in a very unpredictable season.
Enjoy the Play-Offs and I hope I see you this Friday and then again next weekend!