14 Feb 2020

Breakers remain confident

7:24 am on 14 February 2020

The New Zealand Breakers' Australian NBL season could be over tonight, but Finn Delany never doubted the Breakers would be challenging for a play-off spot.

New Zealand Breakers Finn Delany.

Finn Delany's injury interrupted season could end in Christchurch or continue for a couple more weeks. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After a late start to the season due to injury, Delany has thrived under coach Dan Shamir and played an integral part in the basketball club's winning run over the last couple of months.

Delany has been with the Breakers since the 2015/16 season when he was a development player.

He started to see more court time in the 2017/18 season but this season he has doubled his minutes and improved his defensive contribution.

While Delany was out injured Shamir sung his praises.

Now that he is fit Delany is proving Shamir was right.

"I've really enjoyed the change," Delany said.

"I loved the Breakers before and I love it now but kinda for different reasons. Working with new coaches that see the game differently and have different influences is only going to help me as a player grow and our team grow.

"I'm just enjoying the process with a great team of guys so I enjoy doing something special there."

Delany's standout season could end this week or he will have an important role in the play-offs.

"We all had belief that we were capable of winning every game and capable of being more than a play-off team and we still know that," he said.

"I think we definitely knew that we would be in this position to fight for a play-off spot come the end of the year."

The race to claim the final spot in the top four has continued until the last round of the four month-long competition.

The Breakers play South East Melbourne Phoenix in Christchurch on Friday to close out the regular season and must win against the competition's newest club, as well as wait on other results to see if they will be back on court next week.

Melbourne United and Brisbane Bullets are battling with the Breakers to make it into the finals.

Sydney Kings, Perth Wildcats and Cairns Taipans have already locked in play-off berths.

The Breakers route to fourth place has a number of permutations - not all of them in the Breakers' control.

But what the Auckland-based club can do is shut down the Phoenix's shooters on Friday night.

The visitors will be without injured captain Mitch Creek but Delany said the Breakers' game plan did not change despite Creek's late scratching.

"They put up a lot points and play very fast, [we will be] slowing them down and closing out and defending the three-point line, starting with [import point guard John] Roberson who shoots the ball very well.

"They can space the floor, so taking care of shooters and transition [is important]."

Delany admitted he did not always like watching basketball games but said the whole team would watch the last round closely over the weekend as the fate of their 2019/20 season was decided.

"You know, we can only control our game but at the same time we're human and it's hard not to focus on other results."