Fab Flournoy says his Newcastle Eagles will only be a success when they start picking up points rather than player-of-the-weeks plaudits.
The Eagles’ star names have been regulars in the BBL team-of-the-week this season, Scott Martin the latest to be recognised by league officials for his stunning all-round contribution in the comprehensive defeat of Surrey United.
Darius Defoe, Malik Cooke and Paul Gause have also featured for fine individual performances in previous weeks, but Flournoy says he is more interested in how his team is functioning as a unit.
He feels they have dropped games against Plymouth and Worcester because they are not as well-drilled as he wants them to be – and hopes this weekend’s double-header against Manchester Giants and Glasgow Rocks marks the next step of their progression.
Flournoy said: “It’s not about individuals. We know we have the individuals but the question for us all is whether we have the team.
“The games we have dropped have been because we are not where we need to be as a team. It has been a situation where we haven’t necessarily known the right shots to make or the right defensive plays and that is what has cost us in those two games.
“It’s not necessarily talent, it’s that extra bit of understanding we need. It’s about guys knowing where they need to be, guys having that bit of understanding at key moments which will make a big difference in tight games.
“Our offence wasn’t making the right shots against Plymouth and that is the simple reason why we lost. Defensively and offensively we need to be there when we are playing the really big games.”
Flournoy hopes the team’s free fortnight – spent most in the gym – will have helped his team develop a better understanding.
Tonight they take on a Manchester team which shocked the BBL by beating Plymouth last week before a mouthwatering match with Glasgow Rocks in the BBL Cup on Sunday. Flournoy added: “That fortnight off will give us the opportunity to work on things I have mentioned.
“I think we are there but now is the time for us to prove that. Other teams will equally be looking to progress over the last two weeks and they have been playing games so we have to be ready this weekend.”