21/02/2024
Mitch McCarron. Picture: Adelaide 36ers Media.

Mitch McCarron. Picture: Adelaide 36ers Media.

A newfound sense of confidence and a simplified game plan have kept the Adelaide 36ers post-season dreams alive.

Winners of two on the trot, and victorious in five of their last six matches, the Adelaide 36ers have flipped their season on its head and remain in the play-in hunt with only five remaining matches.

Finally off the bottom of the NBL ladder, the Sixers are only two wins behind the fifth-placed Kings and five wins in a row will see them qualify for the NBL play-in tournament.

“We’re rolling at the moment, boys are confident, playing really well,” captain Mitch McCarron said.

“We need to keep winning, we can’t afford to drop any games at the moment.”

It’s the perfect time of year for different individuals to be playing their best basketball, and McCarron attributes the turnaround to numerous players taking it to the next level.

“We’ve had some great performances with (Jacob) Wiley out unfortunately but KG (Kyrin Galloway) has stepped up and had a massive couple of games,” he said.

“We’ve seen some great performances from numerous guys like Isaac, and Trey as well.

“DJ has had his games where he’s carried us offensively.

“Nick Marshall’s no different, another really good game in Illawarra.”

Interim coach Scott Ninnis has seemingly rejuvenated a Sixers squad that looked dead and buried, and his simple approach to coaching has revamped both sides of the floor.

“We’ve simplified things as Scotty came in, we’ve kept things very basic offensively, very set roles, rotations are a lot more set,” McCarron said.

“I guess that’s given some people some confidence to really just be themselves and give everything you’ve got in that allocated time.”

A winning culture in the locker room is great, but the million dollar question remains, what went wrong in the first half of the season? McCarron assured that confidence was never really the issue, but instead some inconsistent gameplay in late-game situations.

“I didn’t ever feel like confidence was the issue, I just think we’ve found some really good momentum as a group,” McCarron said.

“We had some really good performances on the road against some really good teams but then we just narrowly missed out at the end of games, we’d have really good quarters but then we’d let ourselves down in a small patch and lose the game.”

Everyone around the league had written Adelaide off, and rightly so, but their fate is now in their own hands, and the formula is simple, every single game is a must win.

“It’s so cliché I know but its just got to be game by game right now, we can’t look forward to what this means if XYZ,” McCarron said.

“Every team that we’re coming up against wants the same thing we want, so no ones gonna be taking it easy.”

The club’s form has left club executive chairman Grant Kelley and chief executive Nic Barbato with some headaches regarding next season’s campaign.

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