Magic A team should live up to name

Sam Timmins
Sam Timmins
The winning club has already been found.

It will just be a case of which Mid City Magic team emerges champion in today’s men’s club basketball final at the Edgar Centre.

For the first time two teams from the same club will contest the league’s championship match.

It is a fitting way for the club to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The Magic A side has set the standard in recent years and is aiming for its fourth consecutive title.

However, the Magic Lions are coming off a win in a double overtime thriller last week against a quality St Kilda Saints side.

The Magic A will enter as favourite, bringing depth and experience, having topped the table and booked a direct ticket to the final two weeks ago.

It notably beat the Lions by 20 points a month ago.

The side has threats all over the court, including NBL champion Otago Nuggets duo Josh Aitcheson and Richie Rodger.

Both have added outside shots to their arsenal, while retaining the ability to create for themselves and others at a high level.

Meanwhile, big man Aaron Roydhouse’s strength inside has been impressive all year and he was the key player for the side while its Nuggets players were away.

On top of that trio it has another seven players who have been involved in either NBL or national age-grade squads, highlighting its depth and number of threats.

There are few areas the Lions have a definitive advantage, although they should have the edge inside.

Sam Timmins is an imposing presence at centre.

The Tall Black has averaged 26.5 points per game since returning to the league after playing for the Franklin Bulls in the NBL.

However, it is his size on defence that is of most value, making it tough for his opponents to get quality looks at the hoop.

Unavailabilities will hurt the Lions, though.

Nuggets pair Darcy Knox and Kane Keil will both not play, although the Lions won without them last week.

Knox picked up a concussion two weeks ago, while Keil was unable to get his games in to be eligible for the playoff after being stuck in Auckland’s second lockdown.

They will also be without key big man Nathan Hanna, who suffered a potentially fractured wrist during last week’s semifinal.

Young guard Dallas Hartmann has shown he can carry a load this year though, and his ability to score in a variety of ways will be important.

The Lions also have a handful of other very solid pieces who are capable of significant contributions.

Tip-off is at 3.30pm.


 

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