News

R13 Preview: Sydney v Cairns

Who: Sydney Kings v Cairns Taipans When: 7.30pm (AEDT), Saturday 2 January Where: Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre Watch: Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App; 9Gem (Sunday, 3pm) Last time they met: Cairns 101 (Craig 20, Starks 18, Loughton 12) d Sydney 83 (Brandt 16, Garlepp 16, Khazzouh 14), Round 9, Cairns Convention Centre THE MATCH-UP Tom Garlepp v Mark Worthington – The one-time apprentice Garlepp faces off with his former mentor on the Gold Coast. Garlepp has been a scoring machine of late, while Worthington has been defending multiple positions at an elite level while getting his offence on track in recent weeks. THE STATS  Garlepp’s past four games have produced 21ppg and 6rpg, shooting 60 per cent on field goals and 75 per cent from deep. Previously those numbers were 10.7, 4.3, 51 per cent and 47 per cent. Worthington has averaged 13.4 points at 46 per cent from the field in his past eight games. The seven prior to that he managed just 7.6ppg at 28 per cent. THE STORY The year 2015 started so promisingly for Cairns and the Kings, but neither club would be sorry to say goodbye. Sydney were on the playoff cusp when 2015 rolled around, suffering a minor slump while waiting for star import Josh Childress to return from a hamstring injury. Little did they know that Childress would only feature in 10 of their 31 games in the calendar year, the Kings slumping to a 6-25 record across those 12 months. Cairns rolled to the minor premiership early in 2015 and made it to the NBL decider, setting up huge expectations for this season. But with a 7-10 record, a loss in Sydney on Saturday will put the Taipans four games out of fourth spot, with Illawarra owning their season series and the Breakers leading their 1-1 series by 16 points. There is reason for optimism for both teams though. Childress made an impressive return last Wednesday to post 27 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and three assists against Melbourne, and the Kings will be a different team if he can stay healthy over the final nine games. Cairns fought their way to a tough home win over New Zealand on New Year’s Eve despite the absence of Markel Starks and Stephen Weigh, repeatedly answering the long-range challenges of Corey Webster. Torrey Craig had one of his best games as a Taipan, Shaun Bruce was outstanding as a starter, Mark Worthington and Cam Gliddon produced high-IQ displays and the team’s willingness to fight defensively was the best it’s been all season. “That fight, desire, that tightness as a group that they display at home – their next challenge is to show that on the road in hostile environments,” coach Aaron Fearne said. Let's get the party started #HardBall @CairnsTaipans @NZBreakers https://t.co/YecoBJxM3N — NBL (@NBL) December 31, 2015 For the Kings, after two loud home crowds the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre is shaping as that hostile venue they have been without for many years. “I love it,” coach Joe Connelly said. “In here you can feel the energy from the crowd, especially when we got on some runs, so I think this is going to turn into a home-court advantage for us.” The other positive for coach Connelly is the continued outstanding form of Tom Garlepp, and he used his captain’s play as a not-so-subtle message for some of the team’s streaky members. “We’re not getting consistent play from some of our players. Some of our guys are coming out every night and we know what we’re getting. I’ll use Tommy as an example,” he said. “Consistently we know we can count on Tommy to score and rebound.” THE WRAP The Kings’ defence continues to leak points at an alarming rate. They haven’t kept a team below 80 since Round 3, and have conceded 94.4 points per game in the past two months. Sydney haven’t won when conceding 85 points or more, but with Childress back and in form they finally have the rebounding and scoring power to win high-scoring contests. Cairns came into Round 13 allowing 50 per cent shooting from inside the arc, but swarmed the paint to restrict New Zealand to just 66 points at 40 per cent from inside. With Tom Abercrombie missing the Breakers couldn’t make them pay, and Saturday’s game could come down to whether Jason Cadee, Rhys Carter, Marcus Thornton and Angus Brandt can convert the shots Childress’ penetration creates.
FEATURE

NBL23 Way Too Early Predictions

5 hours ago

ROSTERS

Analysis: Ins, Outs, Depth Charts (Update)

7 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

10 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"

13 hours ago

NEWS

JAM TV Becomes NBL Production Partner

13 hours ago

PRE-SEASON

Darwin Blitz Open to All

15 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