The NBA G League playoffs are officially set and the Delaware Blue Coats are ready to defend their 2021 Showcase Championship by bringing home the biggest title of the season: the G League Championship.
It was a little over a year ago when Delaware made it to the 2021 G League Championships and came up short to the Lakeland Magic.
Going into this year’s playoffs, the Blue Coats are the third seed in the Eastern Conference, meaning they will take on the sixth seed, Long Island Nets, in the first round on Tuesday, April 5.
As they head towards the postseason, Delaware is hoping to prove that despite being behind some teams standing-wise, they are still the best in the league.
“We know what winning the championship is like, we won the Showcase earlier this year,” Blue Coats’ guard Myles Powell said. “We know that we’re one of the best teams in the league and it’s just time for us to prove that. I mean, when you have a team like we have, where everybody wants each other to do well, everybody wants to win.”
Delaware ended the season with a solid 22-10 record, the fifth-best in the league overall. According to fellow guard Shaq Harrison, there are a lot of aspects that make this team special and that he believes will give them an advantage.
“I think we’re very talented and also our grit, we always got guys who… don’t give up. We got guys who like playing with each other, our team is actually really close,” Harrison said. “You can’t really buy chemistry. You just can’t bring teams together and this is not normal to see, like a lot of G League guys getting along, actually wanting to hang out with each other. So I think that’s where we have the upper hand.”
Harrison knows they can’t underestimate any opponent in the postseason. As a part of a team that has players who have seen time in the NBA like Powell, Charles Bassey, Charlie Brown Jr., and himself, he knows just how talented teams throughout the league can be.
“It’s the playoffs. It’s the G League. Everybody got talented guys,” Harrison said “Teams change and who knows who’s going to come down for which organization. So it’s literally up in the air from there.”
While the Blue Coats can’t control who is going to be on the teams they’re facing, they can control what they do when they face them. Powell brought up the number one thing Delaware has to focus on throughout the playoffs.
“Defense,” Powell said. “We’ll be having stretches where we feel like we let teams get going, there was a point in time where we were averaging 140 but we were giving up 125-130. So I feel like we know that we can score the ball. We have so many weapons on the offensive end, it’s just sometimes getting back in defense and locking in on the defensive end.”
Harrison echoed the same sentiment, as they both know that defense wins championships.
“Defend. Defend, defend, defend,” Harrison said. “From the team we had earlier in the year to the team we have now, it’s a little bit different and I think we have a little bit more talented scorers on our end, but still, our main focus is to defend.”
Only time will tell if the Blue Coats can redeem themselves from their tough loss last year by becoming double champions in the 2021-22 season. As for advice, Philadelphia 76ers’ and Blue Coats’ center Paul Reed, who was a part of last year’s team, knows exactly what the Coats should do.
“My message… just playing together,” Reed said. “Make sure your team is together, everybody is on the same page and chances increase significantly.”
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