NBL 2014/15 Round 4 Preview: Kings head tropical to face undefeated Snakes

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Cairns Taipans vs. Sydney Kings

Saturday, November 1, 7:30pm (local)

Cairns Convention Centre

Odds: Taipans $1.15, Kings $5.50


Scottie Wilbekin has been straight up destroying teams. After dominating the Breakers last week to the tune of 24 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds, expect him to continue to be the centerpiece of Cairns offence. Matt Burston and Alex Loughton have been cleaning the glass week in and week out. Josh Childress will be sitting this game out with only a 1 game suspension (really……. Really?) I expect Cairns to focus their defensive entirely on Madgen.

For the away team, things haven’t been going entirely well. The Kings went through a brutal game last week against Perth. The game saw some questionable calls and a player losing his cool, lets hope things are different this week. The boys in purple will look for Perry to have a bounce back game, after getting overwhelmed by DPOY candidate Martin last week. Someone will have to step up for the Kings this week, and Madgen will probably put his hand up. The Sydney faithful will have to hope the team can come together and find a way to beat the streaking Taipans.


Key Player

Ben Madgen

With Childress out the Kings will need Madgen to have a huge game. The long serving King will need his outside shot falling. If Madgen can catch fire I expect this to be a reasonably tight contest. Madgen should get a lot of play calls for him in this contest with hopefully a lot of open looks. After three weeks and only one win to show for it, lets see if the Kings can turn things around this week behind their captain and superstar shooting two guard.


What To Watch For

Scottie Wilbekin doing Scottie Wilbekin type things

Whether it’s splitting a double team or coming off a pick and navigating it perfectly, Wilbekin is just plain exciting. His elite level quickness and athleticism always provide at least one or two plays that leave you wondering how that happened. I expect Scottie to get a triple double at least once this season, could tomorrow night against a depleted Sydney team be the night it happens? Better check it out and find out.

Bonus What To Watch For

How loud the Kings are on every back screen now!!!

After last weeks little mishap, (whether you think there was anything dirty in it or not) expect the Kings to be far more vocal calling screens on every possession now.


Final Word

Look for the Kings to play with a chip on their shoulder this week. With the NBL handing down it's penalty, everyone will have to play a bigger role for the purple and gold. Cairns is a tough team at the moment after beating Melbourne in their first game they have continued to turn a lot of heads this season. I expect this to be a dogfight the whole way however the brilliance of Scottie, and the Kings limited point guard play means Cairns comes away with the win. The home team starts slow but finishes furiously and leaves the crowd with something to go home smiling about.

Cairns by 14