Tom Abercrombie. Photo by Getty
Tom Abercrombie may be below his all-star best this
season, but he's hoping this weekend's All-Star Game will prove
a catalyst for a comeback.
Adelaide will host the first Australian NBL All-Star Game in
five years and Abercrombie, along with Cedric Jackson and
coach Andrej Lemanis, will fly the flag for the
Although Lemanis - coach of the competition's best team - and
Jackson - the competition's best player - were locks to be
selected for the showpiece, Abercrombie's patchy form leaves
him possibly lucky to have been voted in as a starter.
Abercrombie admitted he has been disappointed by his personal
game through the first three months of the campaign, but said
he was happy he had been given a chance to showcase his
ability alongside the best the ANBL had to offer.
"I don't think I'm playing anywhere near the level that I
want to be or that I was playing at last year," he said. "But
the fans have voted me in and I'll go out there and give it
my best shot and try to repay the faith.
"I'm not really too worried about that other stuff, it'll
take care of itself."
The 25-year-old is averaging 10.3 points on 38 per cent
shooting in 12 games this season, down from the 15.2 points
on 46 per cent shooting from last season's breakout campaign.
There is, of course, a mitigating factor behind the decline,
a left ankle which continues to pose problems some eight
months since it was initially injured.
Abercrombie said the joint was still short of 100 per cent,
and for a player who relies so much on his athleticism even
the slightest hinderance could be debilitating.
"It does bother me every now and then - certain movements.
That's frustrating because I obviously want that to be 100
per cent and not have to think about it. But at the same time
it's about trying to put it out of your mind and just go out
there with 100 per cent confidence."
Along with the limitation in movement, the ankle was also
providing some mental limitation. That is perhaps natural
when an athlete spends so much time above the rim then, all
of a sudden, the springs in his feet fail to fully function.
"It's just a matter of trying to get that confidence, that
touch and feel back. That's just going to come if I keep
hammering away at it.
"It's most certainly been frustrating but I think I'm on the
Despite his slow start to the season, Abercrombie said the
Breakers never considered shutting him down to allow the
ankle to fully heal.
"It'll come right with the bit more time. Rest isn't really
going to make much difference at this stage.
"I'm not going to do anything worse to it. I just have to
play through a little bit of discomfort - that's what I've
been trying to do."
Abercrombie has in recent games shown flashes of getting back
to his former self, and he's aiming to continue that in
Adelaide this weekend.
The ankle must certainly be feeling slightly better - the
injury wasn't enough to prevent one of the league's best
practitioners from being involved in the slam dunk
Abercrombie said he has been working on a couple of dunks at
practice this week - though don't expect him to leap over a
car like the LA Clippers' Blake Griffin.
"I've never been the most flashy kind of dunker so I'll see
what I can do. I'll go out there and have a bit of fun."