NBL 2014/15 Round 6 Preview: Townsville heads west to take on NBL's benchmark
|Ethan Johnson||Nov 14, 2014|
Perth Wildcats vs. Townsville Crocodiles
Friday 14th November, 6:30pm (Local time)
Tickets: Click here
Odds: Perth $1.15 Townsville $5.50
The Wildcats are coming off a win last week against Melbourne United in what was a complete team effort. Jermaine Beal lead all scorers for the Cats with 14 points and a solid shooting night off the bench from Mathiang Muo provided a huge boost.
The Crocodiles lost to the Breakers last week where they clearly missed their big man in the middle, Mickell Gladness. Those problems should be solved this week, with Gladness expected to return after a minor finger injury held him out. Todd Blanchfield had a great game last week going off to the tune of 23 points. Townsville will need more of that against Perth this week to be in with a chance, with Brian Conklin needing to step it up after a few average weeks.
After playing each other in round four, this match-up should provide plenty to watch for. The Crocs got the better of the 'Cats last time these two teams met. This week Perth will need all hands on deck to control Conklin and Gladness. The 'Cats will also look for a strong performance from DeAndre Daniels this week after some lean weeks.
After a few weeks of somewhat average play for the Wildcats, Gleeson made the move to bring Daniels off the bench last week. The result was just nine points - not exactly what you want from your number one import.
This could be the game that Daniels turns it around though, with the American playing well at home to start the season. A little extra support for Daniels could see him gain some confidence and put up numbers closer to what we saw from him in his first few weeks, with the Crocs lack of strong wing defenders potentially being exposed.
What To Watch For
The Perth Crowd
There might not be a better sixth man in the NBL right now than the Perth crowd. Each and every game provides an atmosphere unrivaled by any other NBL arena. Townsville will have to control the game, answer any highlight reel play by the 'Cats with a good possession and limit the impact of Perth’s red army if they are to stay in touch.
The Crocodiles are better than their record suggests and Conklin is due for a big game after average ones in the last couple of weeks, while Gladness returns to the line-up and should provide a paint presence on both ends.
The Damian Martin-led defensive intensity of Perth, however, is only stronger at home and will ensure the Crocs need to be at their best to win.
This match could come down to a couple of possessions, and while Townsville needs this win more than Perth, the home side should come out on top.
Perth by 3