News

R17 Preview: Cairns v Sydney

Who: Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings When: 7.30pm (AEDT), Friday 29 January Where: Cairns Convention Centre Watch: Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App Last time they met: Sydney 87 (Cadee 21, Childress 21, Garlepp 10, Thornton 10) d Cairns 77 (Bruce 17, Craig 17, Gliddon 13), Round 13, Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre THE MATCH-UP Torrey Craig v Josh Childress – Their teams might be playing for pride, but this is the perfect pair to provide the fans with plenty of athletic highlights. Childress has racked up 54 points and 15 boards in his past two games, while Craig averaged 17.6ppg and 10.4rpg in a recent five-game stretch. THE STATS The Kings trail every season series except one, against Cairns, who they lead 2-1 with a plus-16 points differential. Alex Loughton has hit 43 per cent from the three-point line in wins this season, compared to 19 per cent in losses. THE STORY When Alex Loughton subs into Friday’s game to defend Kings captain Tom Garlepp he knows exactly what to expect. “The herky-jerky, I’m just going to lull you to sleep and then shoot with my left hand off the left foot, non-preferred, with a twist and in they go,” he laughed. “You think, ‘How did I not get a piece of that?’ The timing of it all, he’s really worked out a little niche for himself. He can shoot the three, spread the floor but he can also be very crafty around the rim.” While few predicted Garlepp’s rise into a legitimate one-on-one scorer, averaging 18.7 points in his past nine games, Loughton isn’t surprised. He was a Perth Wildcat when Garlepp first appeared on the scene in 2007, battling to earn a development player role. “He was bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and he rocked up to work every day,” Loughton said. “He certainly had a lot of potential and really wanted to work on his game. He would do individuals with anyone who was doing it. “In the off-season he would say, ‘What are we going to do today?’, and anyone who was on the court he was going to be training with them as well, even if it was guards.” Garlepp and the Kings have been at their best when playing loose in the open court and transition, a style that has troubled Cairns this season. Loughton said “the run-and-gun teams, if we don’t keep pace with them we’re in trouble”, with Adelaide, Illawarra and Sydney averaging 90.5ppg against the Taipans, compared to the rest of the league’s 79.8. The good news for Cairns is Loughton has rediscovered his stroke, nailing 3-of-7 from the arc in his past two games, which particularly important with Mark Worthington making just four of his past 38 three-point attempts. When Loughton’s jumpshot is working, Cairns’ half-court offence is a completely different proposition, with driving lanes opening up for Cam Gliddon, Markel Starks and Torrey Craig. “Every year you kind of smooth out the small parts of your game where you get into a bit of a funk, and I feel like I’ve come out of a bigger one than usual this year,” he said. “I’ve been able to find a bit of rhythm and get out a bit of energy, doing a few fist pumps and getting everyone involved and excited.” So what if his old mate Garlepp is draining the excitement from the gym on Friday night with his regimen of unblockable moves? “I’m one of the cranky old veterans now so I’ll just be coming in to throw a few elbows, rough him up a bit and hope for the best,” Loughton laughed. THE WRAP While Cairns and Sydney aren’t in anyone’s championship discussions, this game features plenty of match-ups worth talking about as the Taipans look to secure home win number 10 for the season. Starks and Jason Cadee are two livewire young point guards, Worthington v Garlepp is the grizzly veteran against his former apprentice, Matt Burston v Angus Brandt features an old workhorse against a newer version, while Childress v Craig is a tasty above-the-rim clash. Where Sydney have struggled of late is the shooting guard position, Marcus Thornton making just 13 of his past 51 field-goal attempts and struggling at the defensive end. Gliddon has averaged 18ppg in his past three outings, and Rhys Carter’s defence could be crucial on Cairns’ floor leader. The Taipans are 9-3 at The Snakepit while Sydney are 1-11 away from the Harbour City, and unless the Kings find some of the defensive intensity that has been sadly lacking – giving up 100.3ppg since their Round 13 win over Cairns – this shapes as another celebration for the Orange Army.
FEATURE

NBL23 Way Too Early Predictions

4 hours ago

ROSTERS

Analysis: Ins, Outs, Depth Charts (Update)

6 hours ago

PODCAST

The Huddle: John Rillie

7 hours ago

NEWS

Adelaide: Franks 'On His Way'

7 hours ago

NEWS

Former NBA Guard Helps Crown King

9 hours ago

NEWS

Soares: 'NBL One of Best Leagues in World'

10 hours ago

NBL1

Noi Ready for NBL1 Finals Challenge

10 hours ago

NEWS

Tasmania's "Diamond in the Rough"

12 hours ago

NEWS

JAM TV Becomes NBL Production Partner

12 hours ago

PRE-SEASON

Darwin Blitz Open to All

14 hours ago

LaMelo Ball Leads Hawks, Taipans Beat Bullets Again

16 September 2019

Fourth Place Frustration for Boomers in China

15 September 2019

FIBA World Cup Bronze Medal Game | Australia v France Preview

15 September 2019

Prather Shines In United's Big Win, Taipans Smash Bullets

14 September 2019

Starting Five: World Cup Heartbreak

14 September 2019

Spain Again Breaks Boomers Hearts in Double OT

13 September 2019

Watch Live | Illawarra Hawks vs Melbourne United

13 September 2019

FIBA World Cup Semi-Final | Australia v Spain Preview

13 September 2019

Starting Five: Boomers Two Wins from Gold

12 September 2019

Australia Advance to World Cup Final Four

12 September 2019

NBL Partners

Naming Rights
Major Partners
Broadcast & Media Partners
Profile Partners
Suppliers
Associates