As the giant ball of nuclear fury continues to fry the good people of the north like a Chiko roll in a service station bain-marie, the NBL took a break over the weekend for the FIBA World Cup qualifications.
It was for the best, really, as the prevailing conditions don't lend themselves to the game of basketball; the balls would melt, and the nets would catch aflame. This would of course be a great spectacle for punters, but horrific for any players moonlighting as hand models.
The break came at the soggy end of a heartbreaking eight-game losing streak and gave the orange men some respite.
As we retreated into our asbestos lined, air-conditioned nuclear bunkers, the Taipans headed back to their bunker to hit VCRs and scribble on the whiteboards in an effort to get back on the winning track.
After eight-straight, a moment to stop and take a breath was what they needed to put some perspective on the season so far.
The worst part of the eight losses isn’t the uppercase L itself, but the way they happen.
Getting pummeled like a side of wagyu beef in Rocky Balboa’s walk-in freezer hurts, but not as much as losing a close game where you held the golden snitch in your hands.
Most of those eight losses have been that way, close or leading coming into the clutch, only to end in a single digit loss.
It’s heartbreaking and a credit to the Kelly Gang that they’ve managed to stay positive, focused and together.
Maybe that’s the identity that the Taipans are looking for? They aren’t grit and grind like Taipans teams before them, run and gun like Adelaide, champagne and cigars like Melbourne, or guts and blood like Perth.
Maybe they are Rocky Balboa, able to get punched half way to Moscow and keep getting up every single time.
As he punch-drunkenly slurs: “It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”.
There’s still 2/3rd of the season left. The Taipans have taken their hits, it’s time to show the league what they are made of.