Patterson: ‘Every second matters’
BRISBANE star import Lamar Patterson says he and his Bullets teammates are ready for the extra intensity that awaits them in the NBL semi-final series against Perth.
The Bullets are in the play-offs for the first time since 2008 while the Wildcats are making their 33rd-consecutive finals appearance with a squad full of players with more rings than a jewelry store.
The series will start in Perth on Thursday night before returning to Brisbane on Saturday for game two. If required, the decider will be held in Perth on Monday.
Patterson, who was selected in the All-NBL First team, played in a handful of play-off matches with the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA and said finals matches all over the world had one thing in common - you must go up a gear to be successful.
"You know it's either win or go home. Knowing that every game matters at this point, every second matters, it raises the intensity,'' he said.
"We are all there to win. You don't know when it's going to end at this point, everything is going to be a lot harder.
"There's been plenty of times when I've made a mistake or had a mental lapse. If you just limit the mistakes, it will take your game to another level just off that alone…you've got to come to play.''
Patterson said being rank underdogs and facing a gruelling travel schedule was not a concern for Brisbane who won two of the four regular season matches against Perth this season with one of the losses being right on the buzzer.
"In the NBA there were times when you'd fly three hours after a game just to play the same day, so it's part of it,'' he said.
"Being able to play this game, the sport that I love, at this stage in the finals right now is amazing. That's all we are worried about. Not plane rides and the time difference.
"It's not like a David-Goliath situation. I feel like it's a fairly good match-up. We'll go out there and battle…we'll play every second like it's our last.''
Patterson said the 12-day break between the end of the regular season and the start of the finals had enabled the Bullets to physically and mentally freshen up.
He has also got a crash course in Bullets history from club icon Leroy Loggins who has been at training in recent weeks.
"He said, 'don't come home without the trophy'. That's the best advice to get from someone who has won. He's been awesome sharing is knowledge and experience,'' Patterson said.