What made Townsville Crocodile’s coach Paul Woolpert morph into the Incredible Sulk? More importantly, will it be enough to win one of our weekly awards?
Perth Wildcats 72 – Melbourne Tigers 67
Complacency is a word that has been used in the Wildcats camp this week and Beveridge was worried about the Cats being complacent going against an undermanned Tigers team at home. The average punter might confuse the Wildcats with being complacent in the first quarter but they we just ordinary not complacent, the Tigers made the most of their opportunities and shot out to a 12 point lead.
The Perth offence didn’t get any better, they tightened the strings on their defence at times totally stymieing the Melbourne Tigers. After conceding the lead the Tigers, through Liam Rush and Cam Tragardh kept Melbourne within a shot at this one but it was a Kevin Lisch 2 and a Shawn Redhage three pointer that ultimately sealed the game for the Cats.
This game was scrappy and although the referees got ‘creative’ at times with the whistle they largely let the teams play and this did make it an enjoyable game to watch. Ayinde Ubaka seems like he is just out there to collect a pay cheque. Rush and Tragardh did most of the scoring with 17 a piece butit was Daniel Dillon that injected some life into his team and his game, don’t let the 7 turnovers fool you, Dillon was everywhere scrapping for everything.
Drew Williamson seems to have fallen out of favour with the Wildcats coaching staff, the Sniper only getting a run for one and a half minutes in the second quarter. Shawn Redhage had the sort of game he expects to have every night. Red Dawg finished with 19 points but it was a pleasure seeing Redhage run the court at full speed after the outlet pass hopefully putting memories of his hip injury behind him. Lisch also provided valuable input adding another 16 to the total including 7 points in two minutes to open the third stanza whilst Damian Martin finished with 10 boards, 5 points and five steals.
Taipans beat 36ers, 72-67
If you thought the Tigers v Cats game was low scoring, well, this one had exactly the same scoreline but a slightly different story. Much like the abovementioned game this game was anyone’s however it was Taipan sensation Andrew Warren who went on a tear late in the game to give Cairns the edge.
The NBL sometimes misses the X-factor in the way that it is largely a team game, fans aren’t usually treated to one guy bringing his team home. Big props to the Adelaide punters who turned up in numbers, 6194 of them to be exact. It is great to hear that good sized crowds are turning up to ball games.
For Adelaide, Daniel Johnson just couldn’t get it going. Though Johnson finished with 15 points and 11 boards he won’t be happy with his 5/13 from the floor. Diamon Simpson added 16 points and 12 boards (7 of those offensive), the rest of the 36ers quite stock exchange, that included Chris Warren’s 2/13 from the field including 1/9 from deep.
Celebrity impersonator and Cairns Taipans import, Andrew Warren carried his team to victory. Warren’s 11 point fourth quarter took him to a game high 25 points and proved to be the spark that won the game. Jamar Wilson added 16 points and Andrew Crosswhite scored 14. Hmm, it seems to be these three in this write up just about every week (with the exception of Alex Loughton playing a good game)
Crocs annihilate Hawks, 72-57
It isn’t so much a case of will the Hawks win the next game, it’s more a case of how much are they going to lose by. This Hawks team has shown us that they sometimes go down by a matter of a few points but more often than not they get blown out.
Things were close before Paul Woolpert got his knickers in a knot and got shown the nearest exit but somehow that inspired his team and the Crocs went on a 17-0 run from there to blow this game out, from there the Hawks found scoring hard and would never be part this game.
Jacob Holmes had no competition on the boards, hauling in 16 for the game whilst adding 13 points which included the flattest looking transition three pointer I have ever seen. Chris Cedar did nothing other than shoot the ball, 0 boards, 0 assists to go with his team high 15 points and Schencher was required for only 16 minutes of action but managed 11 points and 5 boards in that time.
Things quickly went stock exchange for the Hawks, only Larry Davidson managed double figures and that was only just with 11 points. The Hawks season is really at cross roads, they have now lost six on the trot, their playing core is getting ancient their role players haven’t been playing their roles and their imports haven’t impressed but for us the saddest thing is that the loyal fans of the ‘Gong deserve a win, they have stuck with the team through the thick and thin, C’mon boys, give your fans a win.
Kings defeat Blazers, 102 – 96
Most teams would be happy to score 96 points on any given night, and usually a score that high would mean almost a lock for a victory, that is unless you’re the Blaze.
Possessing one of the most potent offensive teams in the NBL this is the kind of scoring output you would expect, 6 players in double figure scoring, Wortho with his usual cleanup of anything that strays off the rim, any coach in the league would take that on any game night.
Coach Wright is known for his defensive schemes from Brisbane that won a title, but he must have left his defensive coaching book in Brisbane rather than bring it on his trip up the coast to his next coaching gig.
The Blaze shot 51% from the field and 44% from beyond 3, Wortho was Wortho-esque with 18pts 10reb but an unusual 6 turnovers, Gibson had 15pts 4ast, Adris Deleon had 14pts, Hudson and Cadee had 11pts a piece and Harvey had 10pts, so with that kind of output, where did it go wrong for the Blaze? You’ve heard our comments on the Blaze before, do we really need to say it again, is the lack of size on the frontline also now showing to be the way to beat them consistently?
Well Jerai Grant and Julian Khazzouh proved that to be the case, if you are going to beat the Blaze, exploit their weakness in the paint and the lack of size and rebounding.
Grant is starting to show that some of his potential can match that supreme athleticism of his with his 23pts 12reb 4ast effort in this game, Khazzouh was a little less productive than his usual standards but still managed 14pts 11reb and 4ast, 23 of the teams 36 rebounds came from these 2 players, are you starting believe us yet?
Anatoly Bose has not done any harm to his rookie of the year candidacy and continues to be fairly consistent, his 12pts 3reb 3ast was the kind of numbers you can only hope for out of a rookie, Luke Cooper and Ben Madgen providing double figure scoring off the bench in the back court would make just about any NBL coach happy, they had 10 and 11 respectively.
But the Kings greatest weapon this year seems to be the amazing play of starting point guard Aaron Bruce who after a less than mediocre season with the 36ers when he came back from the NCAA system has proven to be a stand out NBL point guard, his 21 pts being a bonus from any point guard in this league, if his assist numbers were higher we would probably be ranking him among the top guards in the league.
So the Kings are on the rise and hitting tremendous form going into the latter half of the season, can they keep it up is the question, if they can we could see them slip into playoff contention, the Blaze however, well we have said it many times before, great team, sensational offensively, defensively we will say nothing not to get on the wrong side of anyone, but again the lack of consistency has become their bugbear, and as they say, never cross the bear.
Tigers go down at home to the Breakers, 79 – 90
This was not the type of round the Tigers had hoped for going 0-2 against the 2 top teams in the NBL in one weekend, even having the league leading scorer wasn’t enough to see them to victory over the Wildcats on Friday night and now the Breakers on Sunday.
In both games Cam Tragardh did what Cam Tragardh does, score points and rebound, in the 2 games this weekend he averaged 19.5ppg and 8rpg, having 17pts 9reb against the Cats and 22pts 7reb against the Breakers, with those types of numbers the league leading scorer either needs help in the paint, the return of Matt Burston to help patrol it and limit Triggers defensive matchup problems against most of the leagues big men or have his team mates to learn how to play some defence.
Offensively the Tigers are as proficient as any team in the league, Ayinde Ubaka, Liam Rush, Daniel Dillon and Liam Rush can put numbers on the board, in this game Ubaka had 17pts 5ast, Rush had 16pts and even young up and comer Bennie Lewis dropped 10 of his own.
Apart from those scorers, the rest of the team did practically nothing, that is where the Tigers lack depth, while they do have some good young rookies such as Lucas Walker who has athleticism that rivals that of Tom Abercrombie, it’s the inconsistency of the bench that seems to be letting them down when it really counts.
The Breakers with this win will now once again sit in equal first place with the Wildcats and seem to be in great form, with 6 players scoring in double figures and import Cedric Jackson once again messing around and almost getting a triple double, the other player known as CJ is doing it all on the court and had 11pts 9reb 11ast and 3st, the NBL’s original CJ had 14pts in his return from injury.
Tom Abercrombie is starting to show he can take over the team since the departure of Kirk Penney and the rest of the team is chipping in just as much, Abercrombie had a team high 18pts, Alex Pledger and Gary Wilkinson had 11pts a piece with 8 and 7reb respectively.
But this game once again was about the return of former Tiger Darryl Corletto who seems to create nightmares for his former team whenever they play each other, Corletto had 15pts including 3 made shots from beyond the arc, Corletto rightfully got a cheer from the crowd when announced in the Breakers starting line up but will probably never see that again at The Cage after being instrumental in sinking the home team.
So the Breakers are up again and the Tigers are down, with some teams below them on the ladder having played a few less the games maybe now is a good time for the Tigers to start praying and praying hard.
Can’t Buy a Damn Thing Award
Easy winner this week, Townsville coach Paul Woolpert clearly gets the nod.
|Woolpert the Grouch|
Looking like a prisoner on day release Woolpert took issue with last year’s referee of the year and got tee’d up for yelling at him across the court from there Woolpert blew his stack and unleashed a barrage of ‘phat’ lyrical accostment whilst jiggling his body in some sort of half assed ‘Dougie’ to which he was subsequently told to go and take a long cold shower.
Now there is a difference between making a point and squealing like a banshee and Woolpert decided to take the banshee route on this occasion. Mind you, he learned from the best sitting under Trevor Gleeson last season.
Assistant coach Liam Flynn should of just picked Woolpert up carried him away from this one way heated exchange however to Flynn’s credit, Crocs lead when Flynn took the reins, 7, Cross lead at the end of the game, 15.
Now the Crocs have to decide whether Woolpert needs to get his best suit dry-cleaned for the tribunal hearing. Though Woolpert lost it and acted out of line we would hate any further penalty imposed, it was done and dusted on the spot anything else is overkill.
Gimme My Change Award
This week’s award has a Sesame Street type theme to it and is brought to you by the letter T and the number 72.
The letter T was demonstrated as mentioned earlier in the wrap by Croc Coach Paul Woolpert who managed to get T’d up and ejected from the game.
But it was the recurring theme and use of the number 72 this round that was worth the mention for this week’s award, out of the 5 games for the round, 3 of the games had the winners score being 72 points.
Maybe the 2012 prophecy of the end of the world is starting to come true, who would have thought that a 72 point scoreline would be a reasonable winning score, who would have thought you would see 3 teams in the same round winning with the same score, maybe someone missed the NBL section on the Mayan calendar, if they predicted the end of the world, surely there would be somewhere on it that could have predicted these score lines.
Can you tell us how to get…………………how to get to Technical Street?