For most teams, five losses on the bounce would have put paid to their playoff hopes but by virtue of their excellent start to the season, the Manchester Giants have everything to play for.
But after that truly horrific January, the Manchester Giants are finally back on the road to the postseason, and despite all the losses, coach Jeff Jones and the team have reason to smile.
They’ve been on an upturn of late – mostly due to the acquisition of forwards Devin Grimes and Rob Marsden – and three wins out of four gave the club a new lease of life.
Unfortunately a long Thursday night trip to the London Lions ended in a loss this week, but chalking that mostly up to exhaustion, Jones is still more optimistic than he has been in months.
“That was a tough loss. It was hard to go all the way down there midweek and we made a good start and we couldn’t build on it. I think the guys were just tired,” the veteran coach said.
“It’s really helped having Devin and Rob join us – they’ve really added to the balance of the team and now I think we’re right where we need to be.
“We’ve got nine games left and despite the poor start to 2015 we’re right in it. If we win five of those games we should make either of those last two playoff spots.”
The Giants face a crunch tie against Glasgow Rocks at home on Sunday which, like most of the Giants games, will probably come down to fine margins.
However, if they can pull out the win that will do them the power of good heading ahead of two matches against the best team in British basketball, the Newcastle Eagles.
It would be tempting for Giants fans to look at their remaining opponents – which include each of the BBL’s bottom three clubs – and feel reassured.
But Jones warns off this attitude; he’s simply been in the British game too long to forget how it can change dramatically week-to-week.
“Upsets happen every week,” he said, “Things change so much and we just have to stick to our plan. We have to take every game as it comes.
“I don’t know where the wins will come from necessarily but that’s not the point. I just know if we play to our ability we’ll get them in the bank somewhere along the line.”
It’s something of a Giants trademark to make a last-gasp scramble for the postseason – in the last two years they’ve pulled off a remarkable run of wins to take their place alongside the elite teams.
So even though their season has been quite a rollercoaster, only a fool would bet against them repeating the trick.
Main image courtesy of Manchester Giants TV via YouTube, with thanks.