Nobody deserves anything in professional sports.
But if anyone should be afforded the right to lead South East Melbourne’s inaugural NBL season from go to whoa it really is captain Mitch Creek.
Phoenix could, however, be without inspirational Creek for the last two matches of the season after the 27 year-old wrenched his left knee late in the overtime loss to Sydney Kings.
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Creek hobbled off after the painful hyperextension but returned from the locker room minutes later to cheer on the never-say-die expansion team from the end of the bench.
Mitchell Creek in pain after injuring his knee during South East Melbourne Phoenix’s loss to Sydney Kings.Source:AAP
Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell could not put a time frame on Creek’s recovery but early indications were the marquee has avoided damage to the anterior cruciate ligament.
“Obviously they’ll need to monitor it overnight and do some tests but the initial look (the physios said) there is a lot of motion there, which is good,” Mitchell said.
“There didn’t appear to be any ACL issues, we hope for the best on Mitch for that one.
“He’s a pretty tough kid, might need two hyperextended knees to keep him off the floor.
“I’m not going to look into a crystal ball, we pay a lot of money to some very highly professional people that know the body a lot better than I do and I’ll let them make a decision on him.”
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Jae Sean Tate comes under physical pressure from Mitch Creek.Source:AAP
WHAT HAPPENED IN OVER-TIME?
Two words sprung to Mitchell’s mind on Sunday night.
And how could you blame the Phoenix whisperer after Kings Xavier Cooks and Shaun Bruce earned gifts from the basketball gods in overtime.
The first, a loose ball which trickled back to Cook behind play for the easiest of dunks.
The second, Bruce defied physics banking a killer three from the corner off the “top of the backboard”.
See incredible is the NBL’s catchcry and we did.
“The basketball gods just dropped a deuce on us man, seriously,” Mitchell lamented.
Casper Ware stepped up when Sydney needed him most against South East Melbourne.Source:Getty Images
No wonder muzzled multi-millionaire Kings owner sold parking lots at Bondi Beach and maybe an acreage in the pristine New South Wales Hunter Valley to prise Casper Ware out of Melbourne.
Ware stepped one way then the other.
He bounced off a screen like a pinball and boxed out just enough to disrupt Phoenix big men Dane Pineau and Tai Wesley from pulling down an easy offensive rebound.
It mattered not the sequence happened to be towards the end of the first quarter of a dead-rubber at Melbourne Arena.
Competitive animal Ware knows only one way – “just win”, as the 30 year-old often says in press conferences when asked about his craft.
Forty minutes of basketball later and Ware would do exactly that. Just win.
Devondrick Walker had a forgettable night against Sydney.Source:Getty Images
When you know, you know.
Coach Mitchell knew with five minutes left in the third quarter Devondrick Walker was done after burning all eight field goal attempts.
Shooting is said to be as much about repetition and technique as it is confidence, the latter for Walker truly shot to bits.
No one person is responsible for any result but in a league as good and tight as this everything counts.
Originally published as‘S*** luck’ cruels Phoenix in overtime thriller
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