Bullets excited by Patterson potential
NBL great and Bullets assistant coach Sam Mackinnon says it is a matter of when, not if, new Brisbane import Lamar Patterson fires on all cylinders.
After his tumultuous "Puppygate" arrival in Australia last week, the former NBA swingman had two points and one rebound in eight minutes on court in Brisbane's 93-90 win over the 36ers in Adelaide on Sunday.
Patterson had just one training session with his new teammates before his NBL debut and had not played a game for an extended period of time since his high-scoring stint in China came to an end earlier this year.
Ahead of Friday night's clash with the league-leading Wildcats in Perth, Patterson has been doing extra conditioning work on top of team sessions in sweltering conditions at Carina.
Mackinnon expects Patterson to play around 15 minutes against Perth with his pedigree to fully come to the fore after the FIBA World Cup qualifying window at the end of the month when the NBL takes a week off.
"He just needs to play basketball. You can see he's really good. He's a good passer, a really good shooter but he is just probably behind on conditioning,'' Mackinnon said.
"(He needs to) just build and just find his way with new teammates. We can see that he can play well and we are very comfortable with signing him.
"Now that 'Puppygate' has gone, he should be really good.
"Post that FIBA window, that will give him a month on court. He'll be more comfortable and be able to find his shot which will help everything.''
Mackinnon said power forward Cam Bairstow should also be back to full fitness around the same time as Patterson after overcoming a serious knee injury which will help Brisbane play their best basketball in the run home to the finals.
"Post-Christmas, our group should be where it needs to be. It's a tight league, there's no easy games. Above 500 (more wins than losses) should get you into the play-offs,'' Mackinnon said.
"We have the confidence in the players we've signed and they are now generating that belief.''
The Bullets (4-3) have jumped to third on the NBL ladder after four rounds after back-to-back wins over last season's grand finalists Adelaide last week.
Mackinnon said Brisbane are relishing the challenge of heading to Perth.
"It's a good venue to play in, you've got to embrace playing in front of 13,000 people. It's something you don't get to do all the time,'' he said.
"They are a different team at home with their physicality. The crowd gets behind them so we've got to ride those ups and downs and just do what we do well and that's execute our offence and pay attention to the scout."