December 9, 2023 | Perth Lynx news

After riding the highs and lows from two games against the WNBL-leading Melbourne Boomers, Perth Lynx focuses on hitting back on Sunday against the Adelaide Lightning in the last road clash until after Christmas.

The two games this week for the Lynx against the Boomers couldn’t have been more contrasting. It started on Sunday in Melbourne where Perth was tremendous with another standout first half, and then dominant fourth quarter to score the 80-63 win.

That saw the Lynx hand the Boomers their first loss of the season after they won their opening five matches, but Melbourne was always going to hit back and did so on Thursday night at Bendat Basketball Centre.

While the final scoreline of 93-62 in favour of the Boomers suggests a dominant performance, it was a single figure margin still at three quarter-time before Melbourne outscored the Lynx by 23 in the final period.

However, both teams produced similarly dominant final quarters for their respective road wins and now the Lynx have to turn things around quickly facing the Adelaide Lightning on Sunday at Adelaide 36ers Arena.

While you obviously would rather never lose, Lynx captain Anneli Maley is taking the approach that a loss like her team suffered on Thursday night could end up proving beneficial should they learn from some of the tough lessons, and bounce back on Sunday in Adelaide.

“Sometimes you need to lose badly to take a look and see what we need to fix. Look at the way we lost to Townsville and the way we bounced back, that’s what we need,” Maley said.

“As much as it sucks it’s part of life and the basketball game, and we’ll just take it, go back to watch film, and we have to leave that one there because we have Adelaide and that’s a must win game for us.

“Then we have Sydney and that’s a must win game. The season is a game of wins and losses, that was a loss and it was a bad one, but we also gave it to them on their home court and they played brilliantly in response, and us so much and it is what it is.”

After Thursday’s loss at home to the Boomers what stood out to Lynx coach Ryan Petrik was the obvious that his team, or anyone else, is rarely going to win if they are shooting 3/27 from behind the three-point line.

What also stood out to him was how effective the Boomers were on capitalising on their offensive rebounds. They did only pull down 10 of them for the game, but they scored 22 points from those which proved costly.

“It’s pretty simple sometimes and you’re never as good as you think you are, and never as bad as you think you are,” Petrik said.

“We’re probably not as good as what we were on Sunday and we’re probably not as bad as what we were in this game. It’s the same kind of things we were preaching and if they’re going to dare us to make open threes, and we’re going to miss, and then getting it off the glass.

“They had five offensive rebounds to half-time but for 13 points and that’s actually almost not possible to go over two points for each possession on offensive rebounds. They finished with 10 for 22 points so that kills you.

“Then we go 3/27 from three and we can talk about anything else you like, but if we’re going to go 3/27 from three and they are going to score 22 points on 10 o-boards, then that’s the end of the game.”

One game of shooting 3/27 isn’t going to change Petrik’s faith in the way he wants his team to play with three-point shooting being a key piece of what they do, and nor should it no matter what some naysayers might quickly say.

“When you deep dive into the analytics like we do, you know you’re just going to get games like these,” he said.

“They suck and as soon as you have one everyone says you should just shoot layups all the time, and in fairness, if Melbourne are going to pack it in and dare our average shooters to make threes and we can’t make one, then it’s hard to get your head on the rim.

“They had a massive size advantage on us and they helped of our non-shooters or even our shooters, and at some point you just need to make shots.”

There’s not going to be any trying to reinvent the wheel now from Petrik from Thursday’s loss going into Sunday’s road game in Adelaide which will then quickly lead into home games against the Sydney Flames, Southside Flyers and UC Capitals until a road trip to Townsville for New Year’s Eve.

“The simple message will be that we need some people who actually are quality shooters to make shots to open the floor up, and then we need to get it off the glass,” Petrik said.

“We have two or three games like this for a year and they always suck, and everyone immediately wants to tear everything down, but then we come out and play like we did in Melbourne on the weekend, and everyone thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

“So we don’t get too high with the wins or low with the losses, and we have things to fix absolutely but we won’t get too low on ourselves.”