Heal backs Lemanis amid Bullets' NBL slump

Murray Wenzel
Andrej Lemanis' Brsibane Bullets are in danger of missing the finals after a poor last fortnight

He has more questions than answers, but former Brisbane star Shane Heal insists the NBL club's limp run home can't be solely blamed on coach Andrej Lemanis.

Brisbane looked set to bounce back from back-to-back wooden spoons since their re-entry into the NBL with a finals appearance this month.

That was until five losses from their last six games dumped them to fifth with one game remaining.

The Bullets can still jump ahead of Adelaide into fourth if the 36ers lose to Perth on Friday and the Bullets beat New Zealand on Saturday.

Three losses to Cairns, who have only won five games all season, have been a particular kick in the guts for a club trying to return to its glory days.

Heal thinks the Bullets could still win it all if they scrape in, but is mystified as to how it's come to this for a team he rates highly.

"The people involved, I respect them so it's hard to put a finger on why they're failing," he said.

"You can't just blame Andrej ... he's a proven coach (winning three NBL titles with the Breakers).

"And I rate Cam Gliddon but he, (fellow Boomers guard) Jason Cadee and (former NBA forward) Cameron Bairstow in particular have been inconsistent ... Bairstow should be dominating."

In a contract year, the Australian Boomers coach has also had his hands full with vital international games mid-season as part of FIBA's new World Cup qualification procedure.

Heal said it was important for the national coach to be coaching in the NBL while former Boomer Mark Worthington endorsed the 49-year-old for an extension.

"There's been a lot of juggling with those windows and only he knows the pressure that that's brought onto him," Worthington said.

"But is there anyone more qualified for the (Brisbane) job than him? No.

"To this point he's been a successful Boomers coach and they shouldn't be happy with their season at the Bullets, but it's a brand new team and things do take time."