Thursday, 14 June 2012
Australian coach Brett Brown admits his basketball side needs to get its perimeter game in order if it is to be a chance of snaring a medal at the London Olympics.
A weakened Boomers outfit crushed China 78-55 in Perth on Wednesday night to seal a 3-0 series victory.
But their shooting from long range remains a concern, with the Boomers missing their first eight attempts before finding their range to finish with six-of-20 for the night.
Australia are ranked ninth in the world and will have to battle hard to make the medals round in London.
But Brown is optimistic his side has the firepower to bring home a medal, especially with the likes of Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, David Andersen, Brad Newley, Aleks Maric and AJ Ogilvy to come back into the side.
"I feel like we're at a period of our time where we can do something special with this particular team," Brown said.
"I look at our group as players that are at a great age. They're experienced. They have tremendous character and chemistry.
"They understand the program's built on defence.
"But we're going to need to shoot the ball well and at a greater percentage.
"Patty is a world-class shooter and he'll certainly add to the group and improve those percentages. But it's always an area of concern from my perspective.
"We haven't hidden from the fact that we as a nation need to shoot the ball better."
All of Australia's overseas stars, bar Andersen, will link up with the Boomers squad in Melbourne next week ahead of a three-match series against Greece.
Brown is particularly excited about the return of Mills to the national set-up after the star guard's successful stint at NBA side San Antonio, where Brown is an assistant coach.
"I think we're going to see a far more focused and mature Patty Mills," Brown said.
"He didn't have much of a role during the playoffs but he shined when it mattered.
"We all think we know Patty, but I've seen a growth in him as a person and a player.
"He's on a mission to come in and make a statement."
Australia have to name their 12-man Olympic squad by June 20.
Brown said he already had 10 players in mind for the team but was tossing up options for the final two spots.
Wednesday night's game in Perth was made memorable for the ejection of China's American coach Robert Donewald Jr, who was made to pay for his repeated verbal tirades at the referees.
Check out our FREE Interactive Speed Maps
for meetings in nine countries each and every day.