If the Ballarat Miners turn around their form and start winning games, their finals destiny is in their hands, says acting head coach Rob Baker.
But the Ballarat GMHBA Miners face an experienced top two Nunawading side looking for revenge in Saturday night’s South East Australian Basketball League clash at the Minerdome.
Only four weeks ago, the Miners had a come-from-behind victory over the Spectres on their home court.
But Baker said the veteran team would not allow the same situation to play out twice. He expected Nunawading to come out firing, especially with so little separating the top eight.
“They were probably the better team for most of the game, but we had a real good last quarter,” Baker said.
“They’ve seen every situation on the basketball court, so it’s not like anything we can throw at them is new… they’re a contender and going to be real tough.”
Baker said the Miners would need to be wary of last year’s most valuable player Simon Conn, who is both an offensive and defensive weapon, Shane McDonald, who uses his smarts to advantage, and the players around them, which complement the pair with strong shooting and the ability to work hard off the ball.
But after a strong offensive focus all season, the Miners have now shifted their attention to defence.
“We are very passive and very reactive, we need to be more of the aggressors – the ones that set the standard out there,” Baker said.
“We’ve done a fair bit of work on it the last few weeks, we just need to get it done in a game for 40 minutes.
“We know that we can outscore anyone, now we have to keep teams to scores that we can play against.”
Baker said with Davon Usher in the United States with injury, the game would mark another opportunity for the bench players to show what they are capable of with more time on the court.
“If we win we have our destiny in our hands, but if we lose we need to start hoping other teams lose as well,” Baker said.