NBL 2014/15 Round 6: Perth run riot on hapless Kings

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Perth Wildcats have bolstered their championship credentials, knocking off the Sydney Kings on the road, and moving to the top of the table. This comes as a blow to the Kings who now possess a losing record, at 3 wins and 4 losses.

The Wildcats led from the opening tip, edging the Kings by 7 points in the first half, then blowing the game open in the second half with ruthless defense, eventually winning 85-66.

For the Kings, this is a significant setback in their season, after last week’s impressive victory over the Adelaide 36ers, they would have expected to put up a better fight at home.

The game was essentially won and loss by the three-point differential between the two sides. Perth bombed away, hitting a respectable 8-20 from behind the arc. The Kings were far less impressive from behind the arc, only able to muster 1-14 shooting, yep, that’s 7%.

Star imports Josh Childress and Jermaine Beal were equally impressive in trying to lead their respective sides to victory. Childress had a monster double double, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Beal managed 27 points including 5-9 from behind the arc, which is five times as many threes as the entire Kings team was able to hit.

Whilst each sides star import had impeccable performances, Childress played a lone hand, Beal was ably supported by his Wildcats teammates. DeAndre Daniels was dominant, finishing with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Matthew Knight chipped in with 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Damian Martin didn’t score a single point, taking only one shot but that doesn’t reflect his true impact on the contest. Martin finished with 8 assists, continually getting his teammates involved and running the offense perfectly. Moreover, his stifling defense rendered Kendrick Perry completely useless. Perry, coming off a pair of strong performances was limited to 2 points (1-5 shooting) and 1 assist. Martin was able to stop Perry’s fast break game, with the Kings being held to zero fast break points.

The Kings simply didn’t share the ball enough, overly reliant on a myriad isolation plays; their shot chart is ugly evidence of this. They hit only five total shots from outside the paint, yet continued to fire away with reckless abandon. They were more successful when they slashed, posted and entered the paint, yet their offensive strategy never shifted to reflect this.

While Sydney was technically still in the contest at half time, they didn’t come out with the self-belief required to win the game. Perth turned up the screws on the defense, limiting the Kings to 22 total second half points.

This is unequivocal confirmation that Perth is the real deal, their combination of tremendous defense and improved offense should hold them in good stead come playoff time. The Kings will need to reassess, whilst their still well within striking distance of the top four, their inconsistent play isn’t indicative of their playoff potential.

Sydney will need to drastically reduce the dichotomy of their past two performances, the dominant win over Adelaide followed by the flat, disappointing loss to the Wildcats.

Next week they play the reeling yet incredibly dangerous Cairns Taipans, who’ll be desperate to return to form after two straight losses. Perth will be seeking to further secure their position at the top of the ladder when they face Brock Motum and the Adelaide 36ers.

Sydney Kings 66 (Childress 23, Garlepp 15, Madgen 10)

Perth Wildcats 85 (Beal 27, Daniels 19, Knight 16)

@ Qantas Credit Union Arena