Adelaide 36ers coach Conner Henry admits his players are beginning to feel the pinch as they forge through a brutal early-season NBL schedule.
Friday’s gritty 94-91 overtime win over the New Zealand Breakers was the Sixers’ fourth game in eight days at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, two of which have gone into extra time.
The floating fixture, currently influenced by state border restrictions, doesn’t get any easier as the 36ers host the Breakers again on Wednesday and Sydney next Saturday, making it six games in 16 days for Henry’s men.
Conversely, reigning champions Perth have yet to hit the court, and NZ, Melbourne and Sydney have played once each.
“Four games in (eight) days, the boys are tired,” Henry admitted.
“We need a couple of days off, then we’ll get together on Monday.
“We need to rest up, continue to get healthy and be ready for them.
“We’ve got our eight main guys, and then the other three guys are great teammates and they’re starting to understand their role. They’ll be ready to go.
“We’ll play eight to nine guys that we have in the past couple of games.
“I would prefer if it was just a regular non-COVID year where we were just turning them over and having a number of days to prepare for another opponent but this is where we’re at so we’ll make as many adjustments as we possibly can.”
The Sixers looked gone when they trailed the Breakers 48-59 in the third term before boom recruit Isaac Humphries turned the tide Adelaide’s way.
NZ had no answers for the big centre who shook off a quiet first half to star at both ends with 24 points at 73 percent, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
“We needed a big body and when his name came up I jumped at the chance,” Henry said.
“I knew he could be that physical presence inside, scoring the basketball, rebounding the ball.
“We need to have rim protection and we have to play a physical style and brand of basketball and he brings that.”