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Wildcat happy as NBL playoff run continues

NZN 14/02/2017 Justin Chadwick

Perth Wildcats import Casey Prather says it feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders after helping the club extend their record-breaking finals streak into a 31st NBL season.

The Wildcats secured third spot after scraping past Melbourne United on Sunday by two points.

Perth would have missed the playoffs had they lost.

But after surviving that scare, Perth are confident of winning their eighth NBL crown.

The Wildcats face Cairns in a best-of-three semi-final series, with the second-placed Taipans enjoying home-court advantage in games one and three.

Prather said his team were brimming with confidence, despite missing out on a top-two berth.

"Thirty-one consecutive playoff appearances is an unbelievable accomplishment," Prather said on Tuesday.

"Just trying to get there and not wanting to be that team that didn't make it - it's big finally getting into the playoffs.

"It's definitely like a big weight off my shoulders.

"We can definitely play a lot more freer knowing we have a chance to compete for the Championship.

"We were confident all year long. We were saying that if we could make it to the playoffs, we would have a good chance of winning the Championships.

"I believe it, and everyone else in the team does too."

Game one against the Taipans will be played on Friday night in Cairns.

Prather was troubled mid-season by a lingering foot injury.

But the 24-year-old said he was feeling fit and ready to go heading into the finals.

Despite battling the injury, Prather produced another strong campaign for the Wildcats, finishing second in the NBL MVP award behind Adelaide's Jerome Randle.

Prather has averaged 19.3 points per game this season, and has combined well with new import Bryce Cotton.

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