Andrej Lemanis is left looking for answers as the Brisbane Bullets’ defensive woes add to a tough week for the former Boomers coach.
Brisbane Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis will focus on his side’s lack of consistency after they gave up a 16-point lead to fall to their fourth loss in five games.
Lemanis was looking for a bright end to a difficult week following Monday’s announcement by Basketball Australia that his six-year stint as national team coach had come to an end.
But the Bullets missed a golden opportunity to climb into the NBL’s top four, instead dropping to seventh after falling victim to a second-half scoring blitz by the South East Melbourne Phoenix on Saturday night.
“We couldn’t get a stop and, as often happens in those situations, I thought our offence also got a little stagnant,” Lemanis said following Brisbane’s 110-95 defeat.
“I think the ball stopped moving and so it became a bit of a perpetuating cycle.”
After a see-sawing first half, Brisbane appeared in control with a 69-53 lead early in the third quarter at Nissan Arena but the visitors outscored the Bullets 57-26 to complete the biggest comeback win by any NBL team this season.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to find a way not to give up two 30-plus point quarters,” Lemanis said.
One week after Melbourne United drained 13 three-pointers against them, the Bullets gave up 12 triples to the Phoenix at 60 per cent accuracy with Lemanis conceding it would be tough to win games if their perimeter defence did not improve.
“Some of them they made some shots, good on them, and some of them we had some breakdowns defensively so it’s stuff that we can clean up,” he said.
The loss capped an eventful week for Lemanis after confirmation that Brett Brown will replace him as Boomers coach ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Lemanis took the time to thank the people who had reached out to him during the prolonged wait between the news becoming public and the final confirmation from Basketball Australia.
“It’s been kind of overwhelming, to be honest, in terms of the number of messages I’ve had from people throughout the basketball community,” he said.
“Players, coaches, administrators, some journalists, and then just some fans of the game who found a way to reach out to the Bullets and get some emails to me.
“It’s overwhelming and humbling the positive support that I’ve received and I guess in some small way, it brings me a satisfaction that under my tenure and the coaching group’s tenure over this six-year period that people were proud of the Boomers.
“That’s a pretty cool feeling but again, I’d just like to thank everybody for taking the time to reach out.”