News

R18 Preview: Perth v Sydney

Who: Perth Wildcats v Sydney Kings When: 9.30pm (AEDT), Friday 5 February Where: Perth Arena Watch: Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App Last time they met: Perth 95 (Prather 27, Beal 19, Redhage 12) d Sydney 68 (Garlepp 30), Round 15, Perth Arena THE MATCH-UP Damian Martin v Jason Cadee – Cadee has made significant strides this season but his woes against Martin and the Wildcats have continued, shooting 6-of-23 from the field. In the past three seasons he’s averaged just 6.2 points at 28 per cent against Australia’s most successful club. THE STATS The Kings’ past nine games in Perth have been double-figures losses with an average margin of 21.8 points. The Wildcats have averaged 95.5 points per game against New South Wales teams this season compared to 80.8 against the rest of the league. THE STORY Sydney have suffered plenty of losses this season – 20 in fact, and one more will make it the Kings’ worst ever season – but their Round 15 trip to Perth will stand out more than most if they paid attention to post-game press conference. “I want to throw up,” coach Joe Connelly said. “Third quarter they brought the fight to us, third quarter we backed away from the fight.” But Connelly didn’t stop there. The Kings were outscored 52-29 in the second half after trailing by just four at the main break, and he laid his sights directly on Jason Cadee and a few of his mates. “We don’t have a point guard. We don’t have someone who’s stepping up consistently through adversity who wants that ball in their hands, when the pressure’s coming they want to take that pressure on, they want to meet the challenge head on and it’s hurting us,” he said. “We have guys that when the shots are going in they rebound, they get assists, they dive on the floor, when the shots aren’t going in they fall back and they play a different style of basketball.” Back-up point guard Rhys Carter suggested far greater composure as vital for the next two games against the Wildcats, especially Friday at Perth Arena. “When the three-ball gets going for them and the crowd gets into it, it takes a lot of mental strength to stay together and bounce back,” he said. “If they have one 10-2 run for the game you’ve got a chance of fighting back. But when they go 10-2, you stem the flow and then they go 14-2, a couple of runs where they just hit threes and a couple of dunks, that’s when you're in trouble.” Perth bullied the Kings, but they have struggled to put the points on the board against strong half-court defensive teams, and coach Trevor Gleeson wasn’t impressed with their efforts down the stretch against Melbourne. “That’s the heat of the battle, that’s when you’ve got to execute, the screens have got to be good, the ball movement’s got to be good,” he said. “It’s no use doing it when you’re 20 up. Maybe we got a little bit soft, some of the games have been coming a little bit easier for us.” THE WRAP Which Josh Childress will land at Perth Airport? The Kings’ star has averaged nine points at 27 per cent and six boards at Perth Arena compared to 21.1 points at 52 per cent and 8.8 rebounds in every other NBL gym. The Kings must deal with Nate Jawai and Matt Knight without abandoning the perimeter – the Wildcats have hit 10 triples in both meetings to date – so Cadee and Childress can run off defensive boards and help out Tom Garlepp, the only King in double figures last trip to Perth with 30 points on an impressive array of moves. Perth’s destiny is now out of their hands. They could win all three of their remaining games but would still need Melbourne to lose their final two to surrender first place, while it is still possible they could drop to fourth if things went horribly awry. But even if Casey Prather is sidelined it’s hard to see the Wildcats not punching their playoff ticket on Friday, their recipe of high-pressure defence, dominant defensive rebounding and crowd-raising transition offence a proven King killer.
FEATURE

NBL23 Way Too Early Predictions

5 hours ago

ROSTERS

Analysis: Ins, Outs, Depth Charts (Update)

7 hours ago

PODCAST

The Huddle: John Rillie

8 hours ago

NEWS

Adelaide: Franks 'On His Way'

8 hours ago

NEWS

Former NBA Guard Helps Crown King

10 hours ago

NEWS

Soares: 'NBL One of Best Leagues in World'

11 hours ago

NBL1

Noi Ready for NBL1 Finals Challenge

11 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