Michael Ray Richardson was brimming with confidence Saturday at the Metro Centre.
Moments after his Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry edged the Halifax Rainmen 93-92 in overtime in Game 1 of the Premier Basketball League semifinals, the head coach walked out of the locker room and delivered a bold prediction for the remainder of the best-of-three series.
“It’s over,” said the former NBA all-star. “There’s no way they’re going to beat us at home, twice. That ain’t gonna happen.”
Although Richardson’s team barely eked out the win on Saturday, the statistics show why he’s so confident. It’s a tall task for any team to win in Oklahoma considering no one has done it since 2008. The Cavalry have won 33 straight games at Great Plains Coliseum.
“That’s our home,” Richardson said. “And we take care of it.”
Richardson called the series opener a “hard-fought game” and credited Halifax for playing “great.”
But in the same breath, he noted his team’s abysmal 15-of-49 shooting in the first half, something he doesn’t anticipate happening again.
“We’ve never shot that bad all year and it was all good shots,” Richardson said. “We hadn’t played in a whole week and I think it threw us off.”
The Cavalry are gunning for their fourth straight minor professional championship and have had a similar core of players from the start.
“Look,” Richardson said. “We are a championship team, and we know what it takes to win.”