Tigers give 36ers a hiding, 96 – 66
Who would have thought that this matchup would have been one of the most anticipated games in the season so far, was it because of the 2 teams who were playing, no, it was because of the debut of one of the most highly decorated players to come to the NBL in some time playing his first game for his new club.
Former 1st round NBA draft pick Jonny Flynn, a highly skilled and speedy guard replacing ousted import Kevin Braswell was to carry the hopes and dreams of the Tigers season on his shoulders, rarely has such a highly credentialed player come to the NBL and Flynn didn’t disappoint.
Having had minimal time to adjust to his new team, their play style and probably still combating jetlag, Flynn showed silky smooth skills, super speed and great basketball IQ to help the Tigers dish out an almighty hammering to the 36ers who were totally out gunned and lucky the 30pt margin wasn’t a whole lot bigger.
Anthony Petrie, Daniel Johnson and Jason Cadee were the only players who decided to show up for the 36ers and put up anything that didn’t resemble a mailed in performance, but it was Flynn and the hot shooting of Chris Goulding that lead the way for the Tigers and just created nightmares for the 36ers defence.
With a win on the board and some swagger created by their new import and the energy he has brought with him, are the Tigers about to turn over a new leaf, a 30pt victory over a very deep and highly touted 36ers squad would suggest so but we really need a bigger sample size of play before dubbing Flynn as the Tigers saviour and messiah.
Kings upset Hawks, 65 – 51
The Hawks were looking like the team to beat after last week’s crushing victory against the Wildcats solidifying them as the top team in the league and it’s only undefeated squad for the new season, any fan or sports writer would have been crazy to tip against them, even against the up and coming Kings.
Shane Heal has managed to squeeze every last drop of skill and effort from his players of late and the Kings didn’t disappoint holding the league leading team to an unprecedented 51pts for an entire game, yes, we said 51pts for the entire game, who could have believed it.
Just 2 Hawks players were able to crack the double figure scoring mark, Lance Hurdle must have thought his recent acting role in the Hawks advertising campaign was what kept him STRONGER than anyone else but it was Rhys Martin who thought he was the strongest on this night, Martin playing pretty much a lone role in the Hawks game plan.
Sydney got significant production out of import Corin Henry and he was well supported by the inform Ben Madgen who has been playing like a man possessed lately and well deserved of any accolades that may come his way, Most Improved Player comes to mind if his form continues.
Even good teams stumble every now and then, the Hawks dished it out to the Wildcats last week making them look mediocre, perhaps the Hawks now know what the feels like, we’re sure they will look for some payback in round 7 against the Taipans while the Kings take their game to go against the Tigers and their newly found swag.
Breakers see Crocs woes continue, 81 – 72
The first of the Breakers 2 games in the Sunshine Swing this round the boys from across the Tasman looked to reignite themselves after the previous week’s lucky break against the Kings from a bailout bucket by Mika Vukona to win the game.
The Crocs were feeling more pressure than anything they have felt in recent years as they were yet to chalk up a victory in season 2012/13 and needed to put in a massive effort to beat the reigning champs.
Unfortunately for the Crocs Thomas Abercrombie found his game he lost last week and the usual suspects of Cedric Jackson and Darryl Corletto lead the way for the Breakers to nut out a win that leaves the Crocs wondering what has happened to their season.
Gary Ervin can’t do it all on his own and the Crocs need to find some other players to step up and help him, even Peter Crawford has been less than his best lately and needs to provide consistent production to help out Ervin in leading the Crocs to their first victory, Todd Blanchfield is doing his best with the court time he is given but it’s too hard to rely on a young player and put that kind of pressure on him to produce week in and week out.
The Breakers are still one of the teams expected to be there at playoff time and seem to be coming back into some form, albeit against the struggling Crocs a win is still a win and the Breakers will take whatever they can get.
Breakers hammer the Taipans, 73 – 54
In their 2nd game in as many nights the Breakers were battling fatigue from a game the previous night, someone forgot to give Cedric Jackson the memo though and he continued his tear from the previous game to once again lead the Breakers, adding to his assist and scoring tally for the weekend to finish up with 24 assists in the games against the teams from Queensland.
Will Hudson and Alex Pledger took the reins to dominate the game from the inside and giving the Taipans undersized frontline a long night at the office.
Cam Tragardh did his thing the way he is expected to and provided the offence and scoring he was brought in for and Jamar Wilson was again solid but not outstanding giving the Taipans the only hint of something to be happy about, if they are to be serious contenders they will have to get more out of other guys on the team from their bench and role players to the young guys who have such high expectations placed on them.
The Breakers now sit atop the league ladder after the best result they could have hoped for in the 2 wins in 2 nights, they know they can’t rest on their laurels and will need to improve if they are to stay there.
36ers grind out win against the Wildcats, 77 – 65
In the last of a horror 5 game road trip to start the season the Wildcats were hoping they could put in a performance better than the previous week to keep themselves close to the top of the ladder, the 36ers were just hoping the Wildcats weren’t too disheartened from their embarrassing defeat the week before and were thinking more about playing in their new home stadium than this week’s game.
It almost seemed the game was going to go the way of the Wildcats until the underrated and probably least talked about import in the league gave them a dose of what for in the 4th quarter.
CJ Massingale is not an import you would game plan for like you would a Kevin Lisch or a Cedric Jackson, but he proved he is not someone to be underestimated and forgotten about as he practically singlehandedly drove the 36ers to victory over the boys from the west.
The Wildcats looked to be in good stead and having some control of the game going into the 4th quarter lead by the stellar play of big man Matt Knight who lead all scorers for the game despite the contest being one of a defensive grind from both teams shown in the low scoreline.
Anthony Petrie and Daniel Johnson were solid in the front court for the 36ers but neither of them could contain Knight and his mid range or low post game, Knight doing damage anywhere from the low block to just inside the free throw line.
The 36ers after 1 win and 1 loss this round keep themselves in contention and face the Wildcats again next round at the new Perth Arena, will the result be the same and will the 36ers make the Cats debut in their new home stadium one to forget, the Cats player will have this loss in their mind next round and will look to make a statement in their new home that this kind of thing will not be tolerated in their new home, the round 7 matchup in the new stadium is going to be one not to miss.
Gimme My Change Award
Can this award really go to anyone other than Jonny Flynn this week, we think not.
Proving his quality and backing up the hype surrounding his reputation, Flynn showed his NBA quality speed and silky smooth skills even after having minimal practice time with his new team and team mates and more than likely playing through fatigue and jetlag.
Flynn seems to have the ability to combat Mr Versatility and perennial stat line stuffer Cedric Jackson as a potential triple double threat every night, if this is what we can gauge from just one game at what is sure to be not his best form, imagine what could be to come when Flynn gets his legs under him and some time with his new team mates, but this week he is well deserved of the award for a debut worth waiting for.
Can’t Buy A Damn Thing Award
We hate to flog a dead horse, but once again the Crocs are going to get this award.
They deserve this award so much we were thinking of renaming it the Can’t Buy A Damn Win Award just to make it more relevant for them but we aren’t that cruel, or are we?
Unfortunately for the Crocs they just can’t seem to get it together, as we have said before something is going to have to change, whether it’s a personnel or coaching change it’s going to happen if there is still a zero in the win column after 10 games, we can’t see the Crocs accepting going 0-10 and being happy about it.
But until then, the Crocs once again receive this award purely for a lack of a winning record, not for a lack of effort.