Hungry Jack's NBL
R15 Preview: Perth v Sydney
Who: Perth Wildcats v Sydney Kings When: 9.30pm (AEDT), Friday 15 January Where: Perth Arena Watch: Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App Last time they met: Perth 87 (Wagstaff 26, Beal 23, Jawai 10) d Sydney 69 (Brandt 17, Cadee 13, Thornton 13), Round 10, Sydney Entertainment Centre
Childress floats to the basket #HardBall @SydneyKings @illawarrahawks https://t.co/SiGnCRiwri — NBL (@NBL) January 9, 2016Both Prather and Childress can be breathtaking in the open court, and fans right around the country will be hoping for a high-paced game so they can showcase their talents. That’s the direction the Wildcats have been heading since the return of energizer bunny Damian Martin, setting aside their more controlled early-season style, but the results have been mixed. “I feel like our tempo has been picking up, I think everyone is on board with it and comfortable playing that type of style, the only problem is we need to play both ends of the court,” Prather said. “Maybe one day we have a great defensive game but we don’t execute as well at the offensive end and vice versa the next game, so it’s just about consistency at both ends, that’s what we’re working on right now.” The athletic American knows they need to get it right against the Kings, with Childress, Tom Garlepp, Jason Cadee, Rhys Carter and Marcus Thornton all dangerous if given room in transition. “I know they're a desperate team. Anytime you have a record like they do you want to go out with a bang, you want to give it your all, and I know those guys are really talented,” he said. THE WRAP Sydney have been pounded on almost every trip west since re-entering the league in 2010, and a big factor has been the Wildcats’ rebounding dominance. The Kings made a brief resurgence on the glass when Joe Connelly took the reins, but that was with Julian Khazzouh and Damion James dominating the glass. That pair is no more, and Childress and Angus Brandt can’t carry the load on their own. The other factor that has crippled the Kings in Perth has been turnovers, so expect Martin, Prather and Jarrod Kenny to turn the screws on Cadee and Thornton. Sydney’s advantage is Brandt and Garlepp’s ability to hit the three and spread the defence, but if the Wildcats control the boards, and Prather can keep Childress from running riot, it’s hard to see the Kings getting enough open looks to break their western drought.