NBL 2014/15 Round 16 Preview: Perth look to get back on winners list against Townsville

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Townsville Crocodiles (7-14) v Perth Wildcats (12-8)

Friday, January 23rd, 7:30pm (local)

Townsville RSL Stadium

Odds: Townsville $2.00, Perth $1.74

Tickets


After a nightmare round 15 for Perth, losing two home games, they will be desperate to find some form against Townsville.

Currently in a fight for third place, the Wildcats need to win at every opportunity they get to ensure they hold on to that position.

Perth travel to Townsville without their starting centre Matt Knight as he recovers from a fractured toe. On the other side, the Crocodiles will go into the game at full strength.

Townsville come off a close loss to Sydney and sit in seventh on the NBL ladder which they will be hoping to improve in the backend of this season.

Perth may struggle to keep the two big imports of Townsville quiet with only one true centre fit to play.


Key Player

Mickell Gladness

Gladness has been in some incredible form over recent games, putting some big numbers onto the stats sheet.

The rebounding numbers that Gladness has shown have been very high, with his last game ending with 17 rebounds.

With his astonishing wingspan and length, Gladness has the ability to get to a lot of rebounds that others can not. He also is a great shot blocker and is currently second in the league for blocked shots.

Townsville will be looking to use their centre and exploit the fact that Perth do not have their best big man. Gladness will be wanting the ball down low and looking to use his height and length over Tom Jervis.


What to watch for

Perth experience to take over

After losing the past two games and desperate to hold onto third spot, the experienced heads in the Perth team will stand up looking for a win.

Players such as Shawn Redhage and Damian Martin will not be happy with the way the team performed in the last round and will want to take it upon themselves to help get the team back on track.

Compared to Perth, Townsville do not have the experience on their list which could show if the game is close at any stage.

Perth are known for always being contenders and having a run at the playoffs. The old heads in the team will not want that to change this season.


Final Word

Both teams are at very different stages of their season, one fighting for a playoff spot and the other all but out of the race.

Perth will be fired up and ready to go after their disappointing round 15 and will be looking to make a statement to the teams that are in a similar ladder position.

Lookout for each Wildcat trying to make an impact, wanting to improve. Townsville will be looking towards their leaders for big games, including Brian Conklin, who can take over a game at any time.

The Crocodiles will put up a fight in front of their home fans but will be no match for a battle ready Perth outfit hunting down finals.

Perth by 9