The Cairns Taipans will be looking to notch their first win of the 2016/17 NBL season at the City of Churches this Friday, after a disappointing loss to Sydney in Round Two. The Snakes were in the game right the way through until the last quarter, but failed to convert chances and get stops in crunch time when it mattered most.
Head Coach Aaron Fearne said he was disappointed with the team’s performance in the dying seconds, and voiced his concern regarding their start to the season.
“We let it go in the last two minutes, for sure. That’s not a good result from a series point-of-view.
“We’ve got a lot of ground to make up… We’re just not playing great hoops right now. Everything’s against the grain,” he said.
Even though it was yet another narrow loss, there were some fantastic signs for the Snakes with Nate Jawai and Stevie Weigh seeing court action for the first time in the regular season.
New imports Travis Trice and Nnanna Egwu were both solid, with Trice putting up 10 points and the team-high five assists; while Egwu racked up 12 points, four rebounds and three blocks in a dominate performance down low against one of best bigs in the league, Alexs Maric.
The team will be looking to bounce back against the 36ers who will be missing key player and captain Mitch Creek with a foot injury, but proved how stacked their side remains with a comprehensive win over the Bullets last week.
Look for Jerome Randle vs Jarrad Weeks to be a key matchup for the Snakes with Randle in scintillating form and Weeks himself having a great start to his time in the Far North.
Weeks’ athleticism will be a great advantage to him on the offensive side of the floor, while Cam Gliddon will be looking to maintain his consistency in the competition, so far scoring over 18 in both games as well as providing outstanding leadership on both ends of the floor.
But without a doubt, the most important thing the Taipans will need to do to get the win is to tidy up the offensive side of the ball. Last week each lineup on the floor never really found cohesion and flow, which is crucial to the offensive style Coach Fearne runs.
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