Manchester Giants’ David Watts believes the defeats to Newcastle and Plymouth are a wake-up call the team needed after a strong start to the season.
The Giants have now lost their last three matches since winning their opening two on their return to the BBL and Watts now wants the team to be more agressive and focused from tip-off to avoid further setbacks.
The 29 year-old admitted that Sunday’s 105-74 defeat to Plymouth left a ‘bitter feeling’ on the long trip back to Manchester. Watts was more positive about their 91-82 loss at home to Newcastle on Friday but rued late defensive lapses:
“We made a better start on Friday, made some good shots and our defence was solid. We went on a run in the third and were able to keep Newcastle quiet but then lapsed on defence and missed rebounds late on which cost us,” said Watts.
Despite being disappointed by the two defeats, Watts feels that Manchester have just played two of the strongest teams in the league.
“Newcastle are an experienced team with probably two of the best players in the league (Chapman and Smith) and Plymouth are a much better team this season. They’re a smart team and fast in transition and Anthony Rowe will make them even tougher when he comes back.”
Watts has been overwhelmed with the support the Giants have received so far and described the opening night at the Wright Robinson Sports College as one of his best experiences in basketball.
Watts said: “The fans have been fantastic and the first night sellout was great. When we were getting introduced, I had goosebumps, it was crazy!”
In the summer, the England international ended his two year spell with the Worcester Wolves as the lure of the Giants proved ‘too big an opportunity to turn down’ for Watts.
“I loved my time at Worcester and I have a lot of thanks for Paul James but Manchester is my home from home and it was a chance to be part of BBL history,” he added.
Watts sees himself as having a bigger role in this team, than with previous teams, which involves being a leader on and off the court and setting an example.
The 6″9 forward currently tops the scoring charts for the club with 89 points at an average of 17.8 ppg whilst contributing 5.8 rebounds per game and turning provider with an average of 2.8 assists in the five games so far.
As with most clubs, the play-offs are an obvious target given the format of the league and Watts wants the Giants to fight for every victory to finish as high as possible with the aim of becoming a successful franchise.
The Giants begin one possible journey to success when they visit the Emirates Arena to take on the Glasgow Rocks in the first round of the BBL Cup on Sunday.