Hungry Jack's NBL
NZ Breakers v Sydney Kings Game Preview
New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings When: 5.30pm (AEDT), Thursday 20 October Where: North Shore Events Centre, Auckland Broadcast: NBL TV; Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ Let’s get physical There were a lot of great stories to come out of Sydney’s 2-0 performance in Round 2 as they suffocated the high-flying Hawks after half-time and then blew Cairns out of the water in a fourth quarter to remember at Qudos Bank Arena. The obvious one was Jason Cadee’s 43 points, 12 assists and 8-of-15 long-range shooting to stamp this season as his coming out party, including 20 points in the final 10:05 of the victory over the Taipans. Others were the quiet but deadly efficiency of Brad Newley, the late-game cameo of Tom Garlepp against Cairns, Kevin Lisch’s clutch performance against his old team, the Kings ability to deal with Lisch’s fourth-quarter absence on Saturday and Greg Whittington’s all-court play.
.@kirkpenney coming off the screen and coming out hot, 2 threes in as many touches ?? Breakers up 22-15 in the early going v the Wildcats pic.twitter.com/gmtSFelleN — NBL (@NBL) October 14, 2016Digging a hole The story will be the same for New Zealand, who uncharacteristically faltered in the tough stuff in their road loss to Perth – beaten 40-24 for points in the paint – especially in the game-changing second stanza. “We did a good job of getting out of that hole but I thought the damage was done in that second quarter,” coach Paul Henare said. “I just felt we had to get some stops, get some rebounds, we lost all the physicality battles in that second quarter and I just felt that had an effect on our offence as well.” Despite the heady Ben Woodside running the point, inside targets like Alex Pledger and Akil Mitchell, fine passing bigs in Rob Loe and Mika Vukona, and flat-out scoring wings like Penney, Corey Webster and Tom Abercrombie, the Breakers are averaging just 74.5 points and 40 per cent shooting so far this season. “To get an efficient offence you’ve got to get some stops, otherwise you’re taking the ball out of the net and you’re facing pressure and all that sort of stuff, it becomes a bit of a grind,” Henare said. The Breakers boss does take heart out of their second-half defensive performance though, something that will have to be repeated on Thursday given the number of Kings now up and firing. “We held the Wildcats to 10 points in that third quarter and that’s what got us back into the game,” he said. “If we can continue to lock down and defend the way we want to defend we feel we’ll give ourselves a decent chance.” Argy-bargy Have no doubt they will bring far greater physicality this week, and don’t be surprised in Vukona and Mitchell test out Powell’s self-control after he lashed out at Mark Worthington on Saturday.