Australian NBL - Will New Zealand Make it a Back-to-Back?
I am by no means the sort of person who understands the technical details of basketball. But I am most definitely a person who loves basketball. I'm hugely addicted to the New Zealand Breakers, as well as loving the Waikato Pistons and Boston Celtics are fair bit.
With the start of the new NBL season about three weeks away, the question that everyone is asking - do the New Zealand Breakers have what it takes to make it two-in-a-row? As I'm writing this, we're about 37 hours away from the first preseason game for 2011/12 against the Wollongong Hawks in Hamilton. Being in Hamilton, this makes me a little bit happy. We won't know for certain until we see how they go tomorrow night, but what we can do is look at who they've lost and who they replaced them with.
The obvious person that the Breakers have lost is Paul Henare. He said at the beginning of last season that he would be retiring at the end of the season. I think it's amazing that the team managed to get that win for Paulie in his final season.
The other big loss is Kirk Penney. He was top scorer in the league last season, so that's a huge loss. Though, we need to remember that KP's defense isn't the best, so an average scorer and good defender could give the Breakers a few less points, but take points off the opposition to counter that.
The other player the Breakers have lost is Corey Webster. They're denying that he's gone, but he was caught having used synthetic cannabis which, while legal in New Zealand at the time, has been ruled to be an illegal substance in sport. The likeliness of him avoiding a ban, given he has been caught doped up before, is pretty low. The loss of Webster is a shame. In the 2009/10 season, I really didn't rate him, but he had some really good games last season and I changed my mind on him.Continued on the next page