At last plan ‘A’ came together for the Sheffield Sharks in their revenge attack on the Leicester Riders.
Sharks beat them 85-79, ending their perfect record to date.
The plan at the beginning of the season was to form the most formidable back court in the BBL and the decision to select Mike Cook and Jerrold Brooks for the role was not an easy one.
Radical changes within the squad were required to be made and fan favourites were seen exiting the club to much furore. Pre-season showed the promise of our expectations and everything looked on target for the start of the season.
Then came the crash of reality. Three major injuries, and Cook suffering the death of his father, left the team shredded to a bare thread being carried on the shoulders of captain Mike Tuck and new point guard Brooks.
The Sharks have persevered and along the way suffered some unnecessary losses. But the light is at the end of tunnel as more recent performances have seen the slow return to fitness of the original plan.
“Saturday was really the first game that I felt comfortable and anywhere near my normal fitness levels,” said Cook.
“It felt like a slow train journey; as the game went on I felt stronger and more able to execute my game. I think this helped boost the whole team because that took the pressure off them to score and it certainly distracted the defence.”
There is no doubt the return to form of Cook will send concern around the league, but even more alarming is that back court partner, Brooks, has maintained his impressive form and has quickly become the most feared point guard in the league.
“I don’t get too caught up in flattery, to me it’s all about winning each game and enjoying playing with my team mates,” said Brooks.
“I know I keep getting the accolades from the BBL and that is great but I’m more concerned about getting to the end of the season with silverware and if they want to give me the credit then, that is a bonus!”
The sharks will welcome the Glasgow Rocks tomorrow night at the EIS for the second championship fixture of the year. The first game in Glasgow’s impressive Emirates Arena resulted in an emphatic victory by some 30 points.
There is no expectation that this will be repeated as Glasgow have recovered a few injuries of their own and will be looking to avenge the loss and leap ahead of the Sharks in the BBL table. Tip-off is at 7.30pm and tickets are available on the door.