NBL 2014/15 Round 4 Preview: Wildcats head north to tackle King Conk’s Crocs
Townsville Crocodiles vs. Perth Wildcats
Sunday, 2nd November – 4.00pm (local time)
Townsville RSL Stadium
Odds: Townsville $2.65, Perth $1.48
Tickets: Click here
Townsville and Perth will clash to round out the fourth weekend of NBL season 2014/15 in what shapes as an entertaining contest.
The Crocs have been up and down so far this season, with their heavy reliance on perimeter shooting occasionally being their downfall. That being said, they currently hold a 2-2 record and have the opportunity to build on a strong display at home against Melbourne in round three. Brian ‘King’ Conklin has been in ripping form and has proved the difference maker of late inside the paint, while Clint Steindl lit up United and has the potential to catch fire.
The Wildcats will face the gruelling trip to far north Queensland following a stop in Wollongong two nights earlier, but will fancy their chances of taming the Crocs nonetheless. Perth’s pressure defence has been superb in the last two and a half games, with only their horror opening half against the Breakers costing them a perfect record prior to the beginning of round four. Shawn Redhage has been down on his usually brilliant form to start the season and will come up against Conklin in what should be a cracking matchup.
While his form has remained patchy, he has also come up with some big plays and solid numbers across his four games, excluding a poor shooting night in round two. His combination with Todd Blanchfield, another who has excelled so far this season, is potentially lethal.
With Conklin and Mickell Gladness inside to clean up the boards, Steindl has the green light to shoot the basketball at all costs and, while his far more accomplished teammates grab all the headlines, has the ability to change the course of the game within minutes from beyond the arc.
What To Watch For
King Conklin defending his home turf against Shawn Redhage
Brian Conklin has been running riot so far in season 2014/15, torching the Kings in round two and terrorising his opposing power forward in all four games. This week he will match up against Shawn Redhage in what will be an extremely physical clash that pits two of the game’s biggest competitors against each other.
While it won’t always be pretty, it certainly will be entertaining watching these two stars go head-to-head in a contest of pure will and determination. Will Conklin continue to come up big or will Redhage claim another defensive scalp?
The Wildcats, head into round four without leaving Western Australia and will suddenly find themselves on the end of a gruelling two game road trip that will see them cover plenty of kilometres. The Crocs will also be travelling home from New Zealand but will seek comfort in the fact they will be back in their own gym.
The contest itself will come down to whether the Wildcats can bring their pressure defence and close down the Crocs’ shooters, as well as how they handle Conklin inside. Of course, Perth’s talent needs no introduction either and will provide the home side with plenty of headaches on defence.
On paper the Wildcats should sneak home, but after a tough weekend on the road and with the Crocs being in decent form, an upset may well be on the cards.
Townsville by 1