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Business as usual for title-chasing JackJumpers

27 Mar
4 mins read

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by Dan Woods via NBL.com.au

Tasmania captain Clint Steindl says it would be foolish for the JackJumpers to change their methods.

The JackJumpers are on the verge of winning the first NBL title in the history of the club, and the first title to be won by a Tasmanian team since 1981, but despite all the discussion surrounding Thursday’s potentially title-clinching clash with Melbourne, Clint Steindl says it’s business as usual.

Tasmania has bounced back from a 1-0 series deficit to take a 2-1 lead into Thursday’s Game 4. Those two victories relegated Melbourne to consecutive defeats for the first time this season, and a third straight loss would see the JackJumpers take the title.

Steindl says there’s no reason to change any of the processes that have brought the side so much success so far this season.

We just keep doing the same thing we’ve done all year,” Steindl said. [There’s] no point changing it now, everything we’ve done has got us to this point and we roll on, we add some tweaks to what we’re doing and come in prepared for tomorrow night.

“I think it comes down to the individual in terms of what they do. Guys will stick to their routines, whether it’s a bit of the limelight, staying quiet and being with your family, guys are going to have their routines and I imagine nothing’s going to change any time between now and tomorrow night.

“A lot of our energy is being put into what we’re doing and what we need to do tomorrow night. That’s solely our focus, and I think you can ask any of our guys and you’ll get the exact same answer.”

For all the positives around Tasmania and the performances of the likes of Jack McVeigh and Majok Deng, if the JackJumpers are to take out the series they will have to do it without starting center Marcus Lee.

Lee suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s Game 3 victory and has since been ruled out for the remainder of the series.

Steindl says the import big will still have an impact on proceedings on Thursday night.

He’s been huge for us all season and when you get to this moment in the season and everything seems to be on the line you want to be out there with your guys,” Steindl said.

“He’s feeling that way that he can’t get out there with us. We’ll keep carrying him along this journey whether he’s out there or whether he’s sitting on our bench providing the energy in a different area.

“He’s going to be involved in the experience and we’re going to keep carrying him along.”

The JackJumpers released Lee’s injury as an MCL tear when they announced he would be unavailable to play, and head coach Scott Roth says he’s not the person to ask for more insight into the nature of the injury.

“I would not be the guy to do that, I’m not smart enough ... I don’t have the terminology, wherewithal, or smarts to tell you,” Roth said.

“[It’s] bad news for Marcus, I feel for him. You don’t get a lot of opportunity to play in these types of games, but it’s next man up for us.”

That next man up will be nominated replacement player Lachie Barker who, incidentally, plied his trade with Melbourne United last season, and became a key piece of their rotation when Shea Ili was sidelined with concussion issues.

“We’ll put in Lachie Barker tomorrow as a replacement, and I have no fear in playing Lachie Barker tomorrow,” Roth continued.

“All of our guys put in the work during the course of the season, everyone has confidence within and if we try to scratch out a few minutes here or there from different guys, that’s their job.

“That’s what we’re expecting from them and we’ll function the way we’ve always functioned – do it as a team.

“All our guys are ready to go.”

Game 4 of the Championship Series between Tasmania and Melbourne will tip off at 7:30pm AEDT on Thursday, live on ESPN via Kayo.

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