Packed house see Snakes whacked

Monday 21 January 2013

Packed house see Snakes whacked

The Cairns Taipans travelled to Perth on Friday night to tackle what has to be these days the toughest away game of them all.

Perth has just built a 12,000 pax stadium and believe it or not they are filling it for basketball games! That makes the new Perth stadium a very hostile environment and WA is definitely leading the way in basketball right now.

Taipans' veteran of seven years, Centre Ian Crosswhite, had the game of his life on Friday night with 27 points (11/12 FG) and 13 rebounds – unfortunately for the Snakes the big fella defected south to the Sydney Kings in the off season.

Thanks to ‘Crossy’ Sydney were in it until the last play (eventually losing by 3) but Cairns on the same night were handed a bit of a flogging over the Nullarbor.

From all reports the Snakes were competitive for a half and then the Wildcats popped into a new gear in the second half to make light work of us - winning by 22.

The Kings vs Tigers clash was televised and had Crossy not played, the Kings would have received a similar touch up. It makes me wonder if Cairns had managed to hang on to him this season the Snakes would more than likely be in the top four.

I’m not saying that because he had one great game, our problems have been caused by lack of size and defensive presence in the paint where his replacement, Cam Tregardth, has been quite ineffective.

Look at Townsville since picking up 7ft 2in Luke Neville (yep, that’s one big unit). They started the season with 10 straight losses and since this humongous Aussie put pen to paper they’ve won five outta six and the loss should never have happened.

It’s definitely a game where size is everything and maybe Cairns might have that in their mindset for recruiting next season.

Not that this season is over yet. From where I’m sitting only NZ and Perth are a lock for the finals and all other six clubs have a chance to clinch the last two spots.

Sydney and Wollongong have been dragged back with the pack which makes it an exciting run home. So whatever sides can get on a roll and perhaps receive a bit of luck might end up in the post season yet. It appears it will only be a cameo however as the cashed up clubs of Perth and NZ seem a class above.
Round 16

NZ vs Sydney – Kings by 3 in an upset!

Perth vs T/ville – Wildcats by 18
Cairns vs Melbourne – I said above it’s a big man’s game but this will be decided by the point guard battle between NBA star Johnny Flynn and our Jamar Wilson. Taipans by 4 in O/T!

Gong vs NZ – NZ by 8

Melb vs Adel – Tigers by 15