Hungry Jack's NBL
Adelaide 36ers v Cairns Taipans Game Preview
Adelaide 36ers v Cairns Taipans When: 7pm (AEDT), Friday 21 October Where: Titanium Security Arena, Adelaide Broadcast: NBL TV; Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ The Wright way Going into last Sunday’s visit to Brisbane, 36ers coach Joey Wright made a revealing statement. “I’m definitely not thinking about winning and losing, I’m thinking about getting these guys to play the brand of basketball we need to play,” he said. Twice in the opening two rounds – a thrashing in Wollongong and the majority of the home loss to Melbourne – the 36ers had allowed their opposition to play on their terms, the Hawks and United free-wheeling their way to comfortable wins. Last Sunday, however, the Bullets were never allowed to feel comfortable, Adelaide showing tremendous fight to repeatedly reel in deficits, including an 11-point margin midway through the final term. The 36ers’ epic win was a triumph for the heart of Wright’s young team, the audacious play of Nathan Sobey, the feathery touch of Daniel Johnson, the man-sized grunt work of Eric Jacobsen and, of course, the fearless shot-making of Jerome Randle.
Guess who's back? Back again, @Natejawai's back, tell a friend. #NBL17 #yourgame pic.twitter.com/8LfASIiNvr — NBL (@NBL) October 15, 2016Wayward ‘Pans However, coach Aaron Fearne believes his team simply need to start putting the ball in the hole or else they will continue to play on the back foot. “It’s hard to keep playing defence at a super-high level when you’re not scoring,” he said. “It just puts more pressure on your D and when it breaks down it seems worse than what it is.” The numbers don’t look good at either end for Cairns, shooting a miserly 36 per cent from the field and 26 per cent from the arc – both last in the league – while conceding 48 per cent and 37 per cent respectively, both second highest in the NBL. Remarkably, despite those woes the Taipans took Perth to overtime in Round 1 and were within a basket of Sydney with two minutes to play last Saturday, leaving Fearne to rue wasted chances. He described his team’s playing style and execution at the pre-season Australian Basketball Challenge as “totally different”, the Taipans now out of sync as key players return from injuries. The positive is Mark Worthington and Jawai both have another week of training under their belt, while import point guard Travis Trice looked a different player against the Kings after a timid NBL debut in Perth. “I expect Nate to be a major contributor, as I do Travis, as I do Wortho,” Fearne said. “While they're working back in, the other guys who have been with us since day one we need them to perform really well and it’s not happening. “It all has to work, everyone has to do their thing because it’s a timing thing, we want to play with some timing and we’re not able to do that because were not quite all on the same page.” Outlet passes Most importantly, Cairns have to make shots. Cam Gliddon, Alex Loughton, Fuquan Edwin, Worthington and Trice have shot a combined 8-of-42 from long range, providing plenty of chances for opponents to rebound and run.