Sunday, September 30, 2007

Off to Singapore

I there everybody. There has not been too much happening the last few days. The Crocs, well we have had a few practices before we head to Singapore. The emphasis is brushing up on our offense. Who would have ever though the Crocs would be accused of bad offense and good defense.

Anthony Stewart is fitting in well and I'm sure over the course of these next few games he will have a say in the games. Having his "old" head on the floor will definitely help out the Crocs.

My old team the Razorbacks had a solid win last night against the Wildcats. (Boxscores below.) Coach Rob Beveridge has his young troops buying into a trapping, uptempo game. It is good to see them start the year well.

The Taipans continued their unbeaten streak with a solid win over the Blaze in Cairns last night.

I will endeavour to give you guys some updates from Singapore, but I will have to see what the internet set up is. Otherwise I will be back mid week to let you know how the trip went.

Boxscores:
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72277 Taipans vs Blaze
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72279 Wildcats vs Pigs
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72271 36ers vs Tigers
http://www.nbl.com.au/boxscores.aspx?mid=7871 Hawks vs Bullets

Thursday, September 27, 2007

NBL Players Poll

Players Poll has this guy playing for the Bullets! What the?


Here is the article regarding my thoughts. http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72239

First I'm starting with the best dunker category. Larry Abney was assessed the best dunker. I know the "Birdman" has a lot of dunks, but I'm looking for variety. He has his usual list of dunks he goes to. There is the fast break travelling one foot one hand number. Followed by his hand having some type of spasm. I can give you that on a good day. Off the pick and roll, he will go with two feet and one hand, maybe with a little lean. Once again followed by a poor imitation of a plover swooping. I choose not to showcase this one...one to tell the grandkids about!
Casey Frank got my vote, because you never know what will happen. In fact, I don't think he knows what will happen.

How can a place be the best and toughest place to play. That is what the players are saying about the Swamp here in Townsville. Everyone loves to play here because they know there will be a crowd and atmosphere. So is it really the toughest? I have to question this as players get inspired to have a good one in front of that many people.

I'm looking forward to seeing D-Mac suite up for the Bullets at some stage this season, and is Larry Abney replacing Rosell Ellis? None of this is true, but if you look closely you will notice they have D-Mac as a Bullet and Abney as a Croc. Also, take a moment and ponder what Rashad Tucker is thinking. He has no team.

Oh, last but not least, the players knew how to vote for the best shooter. I just cannot believe I only got 40% of the votes.

NBL Articles:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Blaze-crack-it-for-first-NBL-win/2007/09/27/1190486429391.html
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22489782-12428,00.html Opals game





Kings and Blaze Win

The Gold Coast Blaze had their first win in franchise history in Singapore tonight. (That is a trivia question for the future.) Congrats to them. The Kings remain undefeated as they rolled us tonight. Disappointing again for us as we played well in the first half. Our defense has improved, now we need to find the basket. Once we get that happening we will become a dangerous team.

Disappointing news for Rosell Ellis. He is done for the season, due to a torn/ripped pectoral muscle. It happened while bench pressing during one of our weights sessions. It was a total freak accident. Rosell had fit in really well and his true "blue collar" attitude had seen him start the season in great style. All the best with the op Ro, and hope you have a speedy recovery.

Anthony Stewart has been brought in to help the team out in these lean times. Brad Sheridan is also on the injured list right now due to a dodgy back. Provided Stewie is in some type of shape he will give us some valuable minutes of the bench.

BOXSCORES:
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72247 Blaze vs Slingers
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72248 Crocs vs Kings

ARTICLES:
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22488039-10914,00.html Anstey talking up Tigers
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22470643-5006371,00.html Boti Nagy wrap
http://www.theage.com.au/news/Sport/Kings-too-strong-for-the-Crocs/2007/09/26/1190486397344.html
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22489783-12428,00.html NBL poll results..Adelaide style
http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/1318241/1379850 Rickett talks about Breakers
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22489781-12428,00.html Dench/Mottram against Tigers

A POSSIBLE NEW OFFENCE:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Tips for Week 2, Anstey is POW & NBA Rumours

Week 2 begins tomorrow night and it will see my Crocs take on the Sydney Kings. If you do not live in the Ville you can catch all the action on Fox Sports. Coverage starts at 7.00pm.

Crocs vs Kings.....easy choice
Slingers vs Blaze...Someone is going to get in the "w" column. Something is telling me the Slingers. Maybe Mike Helms will have 50.
Hawks vs Bullets....Bullets are returning from China, so travelling is not an issue. The champs in this one.
36ers vs Tigers...Traditionally a good match up no matter what form says. Tigers too big and deep.
Pigs vs Wildcats...A couple of Rookie sensations will match up here. Knight vs Laughton should be worth the money. Laughton has too many good friends on his squad. Wildcats!
Taipans vs Blaze.....Cattalini out, Mee in, more court time for rookie Nathan Jawai to impress. Cairns at home for me. Best match up of the night will be after the game. Jawai vs Cameron at the dinner table.

Check this out...Croc gets snappy!

Relevant NBL articles:

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=124896 Penney fitness

http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72204 Player of the week

NBA Gossip:

Lynn Greer has been released from the Bucks, will play in Greece for the next 2 years

Look for the Mavs to move Greg Buckner and DJ Benga

New Orleans trying to create cap space...Bobby Jackson maybe the victim here

Cavs are trying to keep Pavlovic, but negotiations have hit a stalemate

Tony Battie may be out for the season

Monday, September 24, 2007

Odds and Ends

Rodman should do clinics? I don't think so, Catt says yes!


Check out these guys from Adelaide. They do a good job and even provide some humorous entertainment during the games at the Dome. Martin Cattalini gets my vote for best answer. Dennis Rodman should come to Australia and conduct clinics! Question Catt. Would you send your child to a clinic run by Rodman? Hope you have a speedy recovery with the injury though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwIntki6cEM

Relevant NBL articles:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/24/2041899.htm?section=sport Ninnis vs Dragons
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22467702-10914,00.html Heal on the Dragons
http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/536641/1377252 Henare injury update
http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22469140-5001023,00.html Kings import season opener
http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/sports/story/0,4136,142832,00.html Slingers..watch live
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22468743-5006371,00.html Adelaide season opener

Sunday, September 23, 2007

1-1 After the First Week

After a solid game and win against the Razorbacks on Wednesday, we were primed for a good game against the Cairns Taipans. All was looking good until half time.

Although turnovers (yes, I was that main offender here) were a problem we still went into half time with a slim two point lead. As good as we played during the first twenty four minutes, it should have been a 10-15 point lead.

Even during the early stages of the third quarter we extended the lead by 10 (65-55 scoreline if my memory is good). Then somebody pressed pause on the remote and the Crocs froze as a team. We scored twenty points the rest of the way and the Taipans ran away with it.

The downfall to this loss was our sloppy turnovers and how stagnant we become on offense. We should not be pulling our hair out over this game as we played pretty good for half a game. We need to turn this into a learning experience. We showed that we can be pretty good when we work together and stay focused with the job at hand.

The second half just highlighted if we move away from this approach, things go south pretty quick.

This week we finally get to play in front of our home fans. They will be fired up as the Cowboys are finished with their season, so now the focus swithches to the Crocs around town. We open against the Sydney Kings on Wednesday night, and this is always a good game.

BOXSCORES FROM FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72150 36ers vs Hawks
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72161 Tigers vs Hawks
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72160 Dragons vs Pigs
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72158 Taipans vs Crocs
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72170 Wildcats vs Slingers
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72169 Kings vs Blaze

ARTICLES FROM THE NBL
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Blaze-lose-but-make-promising-NBL-start/2007/09/23/1190486135638.html
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Kings-beat-the-Gold-Coast-8879-in-NBL/2007/09/23/1190486135641.html
http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411749/1376407 Crocs vs Cairns write up
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Wildcats-smash-Slingers-11280-in-NBL/2007/09/23/1190486136177.html

Friday, September 21, 2007

NBL HISTORY MADE and BIRDMAN.....IS HE READY

Mick (pictured) and brother Chris Cedar will make history tomorrow


In less than twenty four hours Larry "the Birdman" Abney is going to go through a whole lot of emotions when tip off rolls around between the two North Queensland teams (Townsville vs Cairns). Like all players who switch teams, you want to have a monster game. Any player that says they are just happy for the team to do well is lying.

Birdman will want to have 50pts and 20rebs. If he has a shocker, that is when he will be hoping
his team wins the game. Trust me, I went through this with Adelaide and West Sydney.

Also, history will be made in this game when indigenous brothers, Mick and Chris Cedar suite up tomorrow night. This is quite an achievement and I hope the NBL give this the right amount of credit that these two local products deserve.

There has only been a handful of indigenous players to perform in the NBL, let alone siblings. Congratulations to the Cedar boys as this is quite an achievement. I cannot wait to be part of a home game when they are both introduced. The crowd will go nuts!

Relevant NBL articles:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/4/story.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10465045 Breakers 1st game
http://www.thedaily.com.au/news/2007/sep/21/lukewarm-start-nbl/ John Fitzgerald
http://sportal.com.au/default.aspx/basketball-news-display/grizzard-vows-to-prove-slingers-might-35941 Slingers article
http://sportal.com.au/default.aspx/basketball-news-display/pigs-no-pushovers-heal-35974
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22453919-5006371,00.html
http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=16&ContentID=41078 Rogers out
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/4/story.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10464957
http://www.theage.com.au/news/basketball/taylor-home-with-sights-on-gold/2007/09/20/1189881683095.html Penny Taylor article

Thursday, September 20, 2007

NBL has loss on Opening Night

The NBL season opened last night for six teams and across two countries. With the announcement of Hummer as the naming rights sponsor of the league, things appeared to be looking up. That was until the launch of the new website.

The website launched, complete with Aaron Olsen's mug on the banner. Now as far as I know, Olsen was last seen in the mountains of Canada looking for Grizzly bears (and his jump shot). I continued to surf the new site, but found too many incomplete sections. Maybe my expectations are too high, but I believe if you unveil a new website you should have it completed before you launch.

When game day rolled around, there was positive buzz about how fans would be able to listen to the games via the internet. This is a positive and progressive step, but has yet to come to fruition, despite the fact that we are three games into the season.

I can only speak on behalf of some of the voices of Townsville who are used to a live radio broadcast of all Croc games. Those who dialled in to their computers in anticipation were sorely disappointed. They were left frantically texting someone who knew someone that may have been one of the eight hundred people at the game in West Sydney.

The new release website looks like it has the potential to create some traffic. This is what fans (and the league) want,...or should we say 'need'.

Maybe the NBL needed to use the off-season to harness that potential and turn it into a polished product that was actually ready for Round 1 action.

All Boxscores so far:
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72097
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72102
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72101
http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=72120 you may have to scroll a little

Relevant NBL articles:
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22448483-10389,00.html
http://www.theage.com.au/news/basketball/new-sponsor-gives-nbl-a-revup/2007/09/18/1189881514426.html
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22448092-10914,00.html
http://www.theage.com.au/news/basketball/tigers-and-bullets-favoured-again/2007/09/19/1189881594947.html
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4207716a1823.html
http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22449634-5001023,00.html
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Crocs-hold-off-Razorbacks/2007/09/19/1189881599112.html
http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22442774-5001023,00.html
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22449727-10914,00.html
http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=16&ContentID=41002 Trahair signs with Perth
http://sportal.com.au/default.aspx/afl-news-display/brogan-reaches-the-ton-35887 former teammate Dean Brogan...congrats

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

HUMMER TIME


Within the next few hours the NBL will announce that HUMMER (motor vehicles) will be the major sponsor for the next 12 months. Apparently the motor company is releasing a new automobile and see this as a good opportunity to promote the new release.

It shall be interesting to see what happens with the player of the week award now!

This is great for the league but I am more than happy to carry my tribe around in my NISSAN PATHFINDER (pictured). My three kids have enough room to swing a cat around in there. Check out http://www.parrynissan.com.au/ to see what I mean.

Relevant NBL articles:


Monday, September 17, 2007

My Picks - week 1

What is this guy doing today? Find out below!


If any of you punters are in tipping comps, here is my opinion!

Blaze v Bullets - Fox Sports 2 - 7.00pm preshow (Wednesday).....There will be hype and fireworks surrounding this game considering it is the first game for the new boys. When the smoke clears, too many Bullets will have fired.

Pigs v Crocs - Crocs for my liking.

Slingers v Tigers - Too big, too good Tigers.

Breakers v Taipans - The Breakers need to win at home to build some early momentum. The Kiwis for me as there are some injury worries for the Snakes. If you are in New Zealand tune into Sky Sports for the action on Thursday.

36ers v Hawks - Adelaide will keep the fan faithful happy with a home opening win

Dragons v Pigs - Talk about Fibros and Silvertails. It pains me to say S-I-L-V-E-R-T-A-I-L but Heal will not let his troops lose this one.

Taipans v Crocs - The local derby with some spice called Abney. Crocs please.

Tigers v Hawks - Hawks are dealt a tough start to the season. Tigers at home.

Wildcats v Slingers - Philips vs Helms. Philips has the better supporting cast, so the Cats.

Kings v Blaze - Kings are notorious slow starters to a season, but the Blaze have to come off a lot of emotion from the season opener. Kings in a close one.


Congratulations to Penny Taylor, Belinda Snell and the Phoenix Mercury for being crowned the WNBA champions. They defeated the Detroit Shock 3 games to 2 in the Finals Series. See more at http://www.wnba.com/

Russia took out the European Olympic qualifications. Check it out at http://www.eurobasket2007.org/

Relevant NBL articles;
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22429581-5006371,00.html

Where are they now:
Rick Brunson http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/stories/091107aah.html



Sunday, September 16, 2007

Part 3: Season 2007/08

Not counting the Crocs I still have to breakdown seven more teams. This addition I will look at three more teams.

First team to look at are the Adelaide 36ers. A team and town full of sporting pride they wasted no time in trying to assemble a team that could compete every night. One move backfired, that of Brad Newley going to Greece, so does "The General" Phil Smythe still have enough ammo to get them back in the playoff picture?

I believe this depends on how many games Brett Maher plays in. Over the pass few years Maher has missed a number of games due to injury. He is the conductor of the team, if not the town, so he needs to be on the court.

Sure they have added All-NBLer Adam Ballinger, former college teammate Mike Chappel, Brad Davidson and Neil Mottram. Ballinger and Davidson will help, but there is a question mark over Chappel's back. He has been in the country for about a month now and has not performed yet. My mailman says his back needs some serious oil to help it work.

They have some great complementry players in David Cooper, Mottram and Lanard Copeland will have nights where the Sixer fans will look twice to see if he is in a Tigers uniform.

The Sixers will be improved and they will remain tough at home. Brett Maher needs to play 25 plus games for this team to be a lock for the playoffs.

South Dragons are another team where we will have to wait and see. The first month is going to be a real feel out process for many teams. They picked up scoring machine Cortez Groves and his partnership in the backcourt with Shane Heal could be one Dragon fans fall in love with.

Points will not be a problem with this team. Add Joe Ingles and Nick Horvath to the already mentioned backcourt and those four alone are capable of 100 points a night. You may start to see Jacob Holmes develop into a Mr Everything type of player which will really aid this team. A Stephen Hoare type.

Just like Maher for the Sixers, Matt Burston is the Dragons question mark. Kind of forgotten in the NBL circles because he never plays a full season. If he does find a way to stay healthy (maybe just plays games) the Dragons will win more games with him in the lineup.

Heal has recruited his type of team to coach from scratch, so I'm sure they will get out of the blocks quicker than last year. Burston's health and how dynamic the backcourt is will determine how far this team goes.

Big things are expected of the New Zealand Breakers this year. Like Heal, coach Andre Lemanis has a team that he has solely recruited. He got the point guard he was looking for in Wayne Turner, a savvy vet in Tony Ronaldson and some local content, Phil Jones and Kirk Penney. Throw in their other new Seppo, Rick Richart and you can see why expectation has been thrust upon them.

Penney will miss the start of the season due to injury, but they still have enough firepower to get them started until his scoring returns. I want to see how Lemanis handles Jones, Penney and Oscar Forman together.

Ronaldson has never missed the playoffs in his 18 year career. He will be hoping they listen so this franchise can live what he has been doing his whole career. Playoff basketball.

The X factor in this equation is Wayne Turner. If he can produce like he did in Townsville, this will make life easier for all his teammates, especially those perimeter shooters.

I believe the Breakers will be tougher at home this season which will make this road trip hell. On the flip side, they need to find a way to travel a little better and win on the road if they want to be a lock for their first playoff appearance.

***Relevant NBL stories:
http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,22422764-23769,00.html

Friday, September 14, 2007

Multi Tasking

Glen Saville, rumoured to be playing centre!

As I write this I'm chatting via messenger to my main man Brad Newley. He has got home from practice and is watching the AFL on the Internet. He has played one preseason game, winning easily. The team they played was equivalent to an ABA team. Next game for him is on Sunday.

We are discussing how over there in the Greek league you do absolutely no promotions. As for the Crocs, this is the busiest time of the year regarding this.

Just tonight we had a function for our season ticket holders, while on Wednesday we had another that was for corporate boxholders. Tomorrow we hit the shopping centre where fans can meet their favourite Croc. These promos are good in the respect that the fans get to meet the players before the season starts. In Townsville this is important as the fans like to get a feel for the players and their personality.

Oh back to Brad. He is finding his feet in Athens, especially driving on the other side of the road and their total disregard for lanes. Right now he enjoys his teammates company and practice is quite fun. I will be checking on him regularly so I will keep you informed once they start playing for keeps.

Newls has a little time on his hands so he recommends http://www.zooweekly.com.au/ if you have some spare time on your hands.

If you read the Foxsports article below I think you may be just as surprised as me. Glen Saville is playing centre this year. Has Sav had a growth spurt in the off season?

Relevant NBL articles:
http://www.southdragons.com.au/default.aspx?s=nblnews&nblarticle=true&id=5472
http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,22417563-23769,00.html
http://www.southdragons.com.au/default.aspx?s=nblnews&nblarticle=true&id=5471
http://www.southdragons.com.au/default.aspx?s=nblnews&nblarticle=true&id=5470

And for you basketball purists, vintage Sabonis!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHhnDBlBMEE

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Own Scouting Report

Next week we start our season against the Razorbacks. New coach Rob Beverage will have a long list of things to do so I thought I would sent him my highlights package to save him some time on scouting me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKf7UV15t-E

The Crocs preseason list of injuries just got longer today. In quite a mysterious turn of events I dislocated my finger playing defense. Hold the applause please. I was back on the court in a matter of minutes. Cam Whiting only needed two practice goes to finally get it back in place on the third crack. Some sticky tape around the ring and pinkie fingers and I was ready to roll again.

Right as I was reentering practice, Greg Vanderjagt did the same thing. Dislocated one of his fingers. Here is an example of old school versus the new. Vanderjagt instantly found the fetal position. Whiting, who is looking for double time pay today, popped Vanderjagt's twig back in place. With everything back in place Vanderjagt proceeded to find a piece of ice the size of the Antarctic to conclude his practice for the day.


After practice, it was time to hit the weights room. Vanderjagt left the building to get a X-Ray, MRI, CAT SCAN and Ultra sound to make sure all was ok.

It has just been confirmed, Greg will live to fight another day. Phew!


Relevant NBL articles:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Key-Crocs-injured-for-NBL-opener/2007/09/13/1189276897476.html
http://www.senews.com.au/story/48499
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22410004-5006371,00.html
http://www.southdragons.com.au/default.aspx?s=nblnews&nblarticle=true&id=5466
http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2007/09/13/2691_gold-coast-blaze.html

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

7 Sleeps To Go

Steve Price Who is Toowoomba's best? Jonathon Thurston


Not too much interesting happening right now in my world. Momentum is starting to build around town for the Cowboys/Warriors NRL clash Sunday afternoon. Should be a good one and I cannot wait to get out to the ground for kick off. A sellout is predicted and the atmosphere will be great.

It is only seven sleeps to go before my 14th NBL season begins. The juices are beginning to flow and last night I was browsing You Tube and it only emphasised the emotions a player can go through over the course of a career. Good memories can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW0JF5Yj7KI and complete choking here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vyI5-kOE0I. Kings fans will love that one, while I still shake my head in disbelief. The one that got away!

In Crocs news, fans will be happy to know that Ben Pepper, Greg Vanderjagt and Brad Sheridan are giving us something on the practice court this week. All is looking good for our season opener against the new and enthused Razorbacks.

***Relevant NBL articles:

http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&aid=5464

http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&aid=5462

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=124136

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Part 2: Season 2007/08

These next group of teams that I break down are locks for the playoffs, but where they finish I'm not quite sure. After both Melbourne and Brisbane I rate Cairns, Perth and Sydney as potentially the next tier of teams.

A lot of punters will have the Cairns Taipans high on their ranking but I just feel this project might take a little time to gel. Already there is talk that Darnell Mee and Martin Cattalini may miss the start of the season. They have the depth to cover this scenario, but once coach Alan Black has everybody back, how will he keep them all happy?

Maybe this is a question better asked to point guard Mee. He has to keep the likes of Larry Abney, Stephen Black and Rashad Tucker happy, and we haven't even entered the bench yet. Rookie Nathan Jawai will be looking for touches and minutes, especially with the hype he is beginning to generate. He will be a beast in the low block in years to come.

There is no doubt this team is capable of winning a lot of games and quite possibly finishing in the top two. With injury concerns already and the time needed to gel as a unit, I see the Taipans getting stronger as the year goes on.

Now the Perth Wildcats played some pretty good ball last year and finished third on the ladder. Their season came to a screeching halt when the playoff format did them wrong. Losing their only playoff game (to Cairns) saw a good season seem to turn to a nightmare.

I'm sure they have regrouped and coach Scott Fisher will have his team ready to go again. They have recruited strongly with the additions of import Rashad Philips, former teammate Aaron Trahair and local Alex Loughton. (Sorry Mike Hommick you are an insurance policy, just ask Justin Brown)

I'm sure Perth will look to exploit their mismatch of Shaun Redage at the three spot while Paul Rogers and Laughton will provide a strong interior presence. Philips will have been brought in to provide firepower from the perimeter as well as some playmaking.

How well this team performs may come down to how well their complimentary players mesh. I'm talking Peter Crawford and Trahair here. Believe me when I say Aaron will end up playing minutes. He is too good to have wallowing on your bench. If these guys can give consistent minutes, Perth fans may be seeing one of those championship teams they become accustomed to seeing in the 90's.

On to my good friends the Sydeny Kings. With no imports signed yet, I'm scratching my head more than coach Brian Goorijan does. Still, this roster has a bunch of good Australian talent and Goorj always has his teams prepared so the playoffs are a lock for these guys.

Glen Saville, Jason Smith, Luke Kendall, Mark Worthington, Russell Hinder, Ian Crosswhite, Cameron Toovey and BJ Carter is a pretty good starting point when compiling a team for the NBL.

The question that needs answering to see exactly where they will finish, what are they doing for imports? If they get two gems, the sky's the limit. If they get duds, with has never happened, they may fall out of the top four.

In my mind this is the team with the biggest question mark as they are an unfinished product right now. They are a playoff team, but where, we will have to wait until those two remaining players get of their respective QANTAS flights.

***With a week to go before the season tips off officially, thought you might want to relive some of the plays from last year's season to get you in the mood.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugrjCUThO-Y

***Relevant NBL articles:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Aussie-basketball-needs-cash-injection/2007/09/11/1189276706838.html
http://www.southdragons.com.au/default.aspx?s=nblnews&nblarticle=true&id=5460
http://www.southdragons.com.au/default.aspx?s=nblnews&nblarticle=true&id=5458
http://www.theage.com.au/news/basketball/opals-prevail-in-overtime-victory-over-lithuania/2007/09/10/1189276634685.html



Monday, September 10, 2007

Video of Trip to Mackay-trial by error

Sorry that you have to watch some of this footage with your head tilted. I'm sure I will get better with this. Enjoy!

Relevant NBL articles:

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22390813-12428,00.html

http://au.christiantoday.com/article/power-of-christ-transformed-a-basketball-players-life/3235.htm

http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2007/09/10/2555_gold-coast-sport.html

http://www.southdragons.com.au/default.aspx?s=nblnews&nblarticle=true&id=5452

Who Would Have Thought, No Offence

Crocs fans may not believe this, but it was our offense that let us down in our clash against the Gold Coast Blaze in Mackay. Going down 88-75, offensive continuity will probably be on order this week at practice.

Leading 50-47 at half time,who would have thought scoring 25 points in the second half would be the let down for the Crocs. It all started in the third quarter where we troubled the scoreboard for six points. Turnovers and bad shot selection were the problem here.

While it is hard to criticise our defense, it was Daniel Joyce that opened up the game in the third quarter nailing four threes. This game really lacked offensive spark so this barrage of bombs from young Joyce was enough spark to guide the Blaze to victory.

For the Crocs, Galon Young produced a double double (17pts,10rebs), while three others reached double figures in points.

The good news for the Crocs is both seven footers, Pepper and Vanderjagt, should be back this week. Also joining them at practice this week should be swing man Brad Sheridan. All have been missing for a period of time due to injury.

It is only ten days until our first game so practice time is going to be important as we are done with our preseason games.

***Hopefully my stats guru Rohan Short can provide a boxscore and I have some lite hearted video footage to download of our plane flight to Mackay.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Blaze Tear Us A New One

Penny Taylor, Finals MVP?

Lauren Jackson, League MVP!


Well it is a few hours since our preseason game against the Gold Coast Blaze has ended, and the result is still the same. We got our asses kicked. Plain and simple.

The score ended up 111-100 roughly, but the Blaze controlled the game and were the better team tonight. I feel like this game should be a good lesson for us. The Blaze wanted it more and we let them dictated everything tonight. The point here is we need to play with the same type of attitude the Blaze showed. Good team work and they just played harder than us. This is something coach Trevor Gleeson preaches, so there is no reason not to play with some passion.

One good thing to come out of tonight's game is the continued good form Mike Cedar is displaying right now. I'm sure his roommate Drew Williamson is taking some of the credit. Those long walks on the beach they have together are really working. Mike keep it up!

Rosell Ellis always puts forward an honest days work. Once again would have been close to a double double if not getting one.

As for the rest of us, Saturday (we play the Blaze in Mackay) cannot come soon enough so we can redeem ourselves.

For the Blaze, import point guard Jason Crowe seems to be getting a feel for the NBL. He showed he can knock down the three, penetrate and create for his teammates. With him doing this, James Harvey, Pero Cameron and Scott MacGregor get their feet set and blaze away. (no pun intended there) Their other import, Hawkins, seems like he is a good fit for this team. He will do a little of everything for this team. He is solid in all categories.

Greg Vanderjagt, Ben Pepper and Brad Sheridan did not play for the Crocs, while Ben Melmeth did not suit up for the Blaze. With Pepper, Vanderjagt and Melmeth not suiting up, can anybody tell me if there was a 7 footers convention in town tonight?

I will endeavour to get a boxscore of this game. Somehow though, this is not going to help my cause for this game.

***Don't forget that the WNBA finals are one right now. Phoenix vs Detroit. Aussies Penny Taylor and Belinda Snell are in the Phoenix line up. These games can be seen on ESPN. Here is a boxscore from Game 1.
http://www.wnba.com/games/20070905/PHODET/boxscore.html

Congratulations to Aussie Lauren Jackson for capturing her second WNBA MVP trophy.
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22376000-11088,00.html

***Also Europe qualifications are on right now. They have moved into the second round to see who will get to play in Beijing in 2008. http://www.eurobasket2007.org/ is where you will find articles and boxscores.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Part 1: Season 2007/08



Over the next week or so I will begin to give my opinion on where I believe teams will finish this season. I will not throw the Crocs into the mix as I believe we will be right around the mark come playoff time.

The first group of teams that I'm putting the kiss of death on are Brisbane and Melbourne. Last year these two teams battled for the championship and they will be right around the mark again this year. Before any of the other teams begin to gain respect around the league, you will need to beat these teams. And not just on a one off occasion.

The defending champs come back to defend their title with a little tinkering been done in the off season. The losses of both Mark Bradtke and Stephen Black will be missed. Bradtke was huge against the Tigers, especially matching up against Chris Anstey. As for Black, statistically it was a average year for him personally, but teams would have still had one of their best defenders on him. Also remember, he made some big shots in the early games of the finals series. They will both be missed.

To fill these shoes look for rookie Criag Bradshaw to fill Bradtke's spot. The question I pose to the young man though, can he provide the presences in the paint that Bradtke made a living from doing? Bradshaw will have some big nights because he can step outside and knock down the three. He has to prove that he can pull down a key rebound when needed.

I think Black's departure will be filled by committee. Adam Gibson will be looking for more minutes as will Brad Williamson. Rumours had the "Jeweller", Mike Hill, giving up starting spots on other teams to remain with the Bullets. He will be looking to have an impact off the bench again.

There is no doubting the team from Bris Vegas will be in the hunt again, but their record win streak last year isn't in jeopardy of being beaten this year.

The Tigers are comfortable in their own skin, so you have to go out and beat them. This is why they also will win enough games to be around the mark come playoffs.

Losing Rashad Tucker and gaining Dave Barlow will not worry this outfit. He will fit in better to the Tigers than what Tucker did. (I will talk about Tucker more when I come to Cairns. He is a better fit for the Taipans.) Barlow provides many of the same qualities as Tucker, but is a better spot up shooter. His outside shooting will be key, especially in their half court offense where they run a lot of on ball screens and just need players to stretch the defense.

Their other lose is Axel Dench. Adding import Martin Muusepp I don't think Tiger fans will be disappointed with this exchange of personnel. M&M (not Matt McQuade) will impress and could remind people of the Scott Fisher/Tim Dillon days, provided both him and Anstey combine well.

I'm telling you, nothing will change with the Tigers. Dmac will run the show, Anstey will pick and pop, all while Dave Thomas hustles his ass off. The rest is just icing on the cake for coach Al Westover.

These are the two teams the rest of us are chasing. We all want to be them, but until you start beating them consistently they will be the benchmark.

***Basketball junkies, don't forget that the FIBA EUROPE qualifications are going on right now. The best website to find out everything, including boxscores, go to http://www.eurobasket2007.org/ It is worth a look as most teams have their NBA players involved.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

Rookie of the Year

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR?

After coming back from the Queensland Cup I feel this season could see the ROY award be the most hotly comtested in years. Nathan Jawai and Craig Bradshaw will probably start favourites, due to the fact they will see plenty of playing time and be on good teams. Jawai may be asked to carry more of the load sooner, especially if it is true that Martin Cattalini may miss the first few months of the season.

Bradshaw looks like he is going to see plenty of minutes. He has the skills to play both inside and out, so he will create mismatches all night. The thing I question with is, does he fall in love with his perimeter game too much. The Bullets need a low post presence.

Jawai is a load down low. Soft hands and a nose for an offensive rebound make him tough at the offensive end. Him and Larry Abney will eat some serious glass this year. For Jawai to become a well rounded weapon he needs to find a left hand, or some type of move to his left. In saying this, the kid is 19 and is improving rapidly. Watch out NBL.

Alex Loughton has to be in contention as well. I don't really know much of his game, but having a successful college career will help out here. What may hurt him the most is playing behind both Paul Rogers and Shaun Redage.

West Sydney have a pair of rookies that will get an opportunity to shine. Damien Martin and Matt Knight will have their say in determining who wins this award at season's end. Knight is in a similar mould to Jawai. He is a space eater and a rebounding machine. I will be interested to see how he scores in this league, but there will be nights when he gets ten points just through offensive rebounding.

Martin is a glue guy. A scrappy, hustling point guard, Martin's game cannot be judged through the boxscores. Coach Rob Beveridge will be looking for Martin to control the tempo both on offense and defense if the Pigs are to improve this year.

As I said earlier, I cannot remember a year where there is potentially five guys that could win this award. I've maybe left someone of this list, so please feel free to let me know your option.


*** I do have all the boxscores from the Queensland Cup. I just have to find a way to get them to accept the PDF file on here. Hopefully they will be up in the near future.