Mystro
Years ago

Breakers vs Crocs, Oct 31

The Crocs (2/2) head to take on NZ (3/2) in Auckland at Vector Arena.

NZ looked good early with wins against Perth & Adelaide before dropping games to Melbourne & the unbeaten Taipans before rebounding and getting one up on the Hawks in Wollongong on Sunday.

Townsville dropped their first game to the Hawks and then lost to the Sixers in round 1 before beating Sydney in round 2 and Melbourne United in round 3.

Neither team has any injury concerns and plenty of good match ups on offer.

Blanchfield Vs Abercrombie
Vukona Vs Conklin
Wesley Vs Holmes
Gladness Vs Ibekwe

Here's hoping NZ can get the win at home.

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Mick  
Years ago

Should be a good game with lots of great matchups as you said.

Vukona normally kills Townsville with his motor but this year we finally have a good rebounding team that should be able to fight back.

Can't really call it because you never know which Townsville side will show up on the road, but you'd have to think NZ would nab this one at home.

Townsville have been a defensive sieve at times this season (as they are every season, through the years, through regime changes, coaching changes, through roster turnover. I don't know how we keep the bar set so low on that end of the floor but you have to hand it to us for being consistent), and it's been made worse by the fact that we now have Gladness, because Dennis is playing his super risky/aggressive trapping basketball more often (which I hate), and he thinks he can just have everyone overplay EVERYTHING and leave the driving lanes open with the mentality that, "Mickell will clean it up". I think we play much better without the trap to zone defense, but Dennis seems hellbent on it. A big team like this should be playing defense honestly and conservatively...bigs back at the rim please, and no trapping or blitzing pick and rolls.


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Mick  
Years ago

Also 4 games in and I haven't seen us go small once yet.

I think the Norton, Markovic, Steindl, Blanchfield, Gladness lineup would be very hard to guard. I want to see it.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

I see you won your bet with your bro Mick?

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Ano  
Years ago

Who's the best matchup on Pledger or isn't there one? The next two games (Crocs n 36ers) I cant see who can stop him on points

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LC  
Years ago

I would love to see the rocs get this win. Will really boost their stocks if they can get it done.

Conklin has impressed me so far this season and has really stepped it up. Pledger is out of form, however can he run into some against the Breakers?

Breakers look to blow away Crocs in the 'City of Sails'

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Mick  
Years ago

@Ano:

You would think Mickell Gladness, at 6'11" and with the longest wingspan in NBL history, along with the 7ft Greg Vanderjagt, would be one of the better center combos in the league to match up against Alex Pledge's size. In fact I'd go so far as to say Townsville has the edge at the 5 spot. Pledger simply isn't much of a factor on the offensive end of the floor despite his obvious merit as a defender.

Then Adelaide has Luke Schenscher, who -- while not an elite defender -- is a little underrated in that department and has obvious size.

Not sure what you mean when you say that Pledger is going to be unstoppable, because planning for Alex Pledger is the last thing any team should be worrying about when formulating a game plan against the Breakers, and Townsville and Adelaide have two long behemoths patrolling the paint.

Crocs need to worry about stopping Ced Jackson from being a playmaker, keeping Vukona and Wesley off the offensive glass, and goading Abercrombie into being a passive jumpshooter.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Pledger is injured and only playing about 13 mins a game because of it! His numbers are solid considering limited minutes and injury but the crocs will be planning around stopping Jackson and Webster, wont be game planning around Pledger

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paul  
Years ago

In his last 65 minutes Pledger has scored 37 points on 18/25 shooting. That's pretty impressive.

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Mystro  
Years ago

I agree Paul, with guys like Vukona, Abercrombie and Jackson on his team people forget how good Pledger actually is at both ends of the floor.
NZ's record last season was testament to that.

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paul  
Years ago

Yeah, he's not a force in the low post, but he is a good passing target and good offensive rebounder. Once a 7'1 guy has the ball that close to the basket it's tough to stop.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

unless u have a 6'11" guy with a 7'8" wingspan in front of him ;)

cmon Crocs!

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Mystro  
Years ago

Breakers got out to an early lead but the bench allowed Clint Stiendl to get hot from outside and the lead evaporated pretty quickly.
No Markovic so far for Townsville?

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Nathan of Perth  
Years ago

Conklin needs to lift in the 2nd half or the Crocs won't have a hope.

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Nathan of Perth  
Years ago

Crocs really need to cut down on the fouling.

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Mystro  
Years ago

Markovic checks in with 4 1/2 minutes left in the 3rd

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MACDUB  
Years ago

What's up with Markovic?

First time entering the game halfway through the 3rd..injured?

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MACDUB  
Years ago

Its amazing watching Carter this year.

Never knew he was so skilled...never saw it previously in the NBL.

But with the freedom of the Breakers structure..he is showing skill that ive never seen.

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Nathan of Perth  
Years ago

@MACDUB,

That's because you've probably seen him in the GFs last couple year ;)

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LV  
Years ago

It's only been some brilliant 3 point shooting that has kept the Crocs in this game.

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LV  
Years ago

Markovic is carrying an injury. He didnt enter last weeks game till very late either

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Nathan of Perth  
Years ago

14pts halfway through the 4th, I'd suggest that last 3 has settled the contest.

1-13 from Conklin
2-9 from Norton

Finger pointing squarely at these two.

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Nathan of Perth  
Years ago

On the plus side, I'm feeling so much more optimistic about our trip to Tsv on Sunday.

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MACDUB  
Years ago

That flopping tech on Holmes was the worst referee call i have ever seen in my life.

Vukona dipped the shoulder and charged at him - that was the clearest of charges. Wow

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Nathan of Perth  
Years ago

That's home court for ya.

6,106 is a good crowd, I thought?

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MACDUB  
Years ago

It was a disgrace.

Re: the crowd..pretty sure they need 8kish just to break even as VA is an expensive hire.

They might take more games back to NSEC next season.

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Mystro  
Years ago

Yeah not a bad crowd at all.

Vickermans signings showing their worth, Rhys Carter has been great but Tai Wesley & Ekene Ibekwe stepped up in the second half with some massive defensive plays and some clutch baskets also.
Leon Henry was relentless for the Crocs and deserved his minutes and yes, if it wasn't for some sharp outside shooting they would have been blown out.
Now for the Sixers.

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Mystro  
Years ago

They were brave after last season to schedule so many games at vector if they need 8k to break even.

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paul  
Years ago

That sounds too high to me. 8k is pretty much a sellout in the seating arrangement they use.

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MACDUB  
Years ago

7k maybe paul?

Either way im sure 6k would be a loss.

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paul  
Years ago

I doubt they would be budgeting for an average of over 6K, so this wouldn't be a bad result for them. In fact, if they can average 6K over 10 games at Vector that would be an excellent result.

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Mystro  
Years ago

Vukona & Wesley held the leagues leading scorer to single figures and Blanchfield had his moments but never looked like catching alight unlike Stiendl but he didn't score in the second half after dragging the Crocs back into the contest with his outside shooting in the second quarter.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Mick I agree with wanting to see that small lineup. Blanchfield at the 4 would be very hard to stop. Likely to be defensive issues although that is what Gladness is there for.

Teams must love when the ball get thrown into Gladness at the mid post.

Rhys Carter has been making fantastic passes this year. Is really reading the game well. He used to be a bit of a turnover machine off pick n rolls although this year the improvement has been amazing.

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paul  
Years ago

Breakers were pretty impressive last night, so many guys who can make plays at both ends. If they can manage to get Fotu back for Wesley they'll have a hell of a team.

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Mick  
Years ago

The NBL needs to get rid of the flopping tech rule. It's either too hard to call properly in-game, or the refs are too incompetent to call it properly in-game. Probably a bit of both.

Crocs shat the bed, as they usually do on the road. Mitch Norton still having 2 bad games for every good one. Todd Blanchfield still finding a way to be passive after a great start to the season in terms of attacking the rim (even if his long ball has been cold to start the year). I think it's just flat out not enough looks for him, whether by his own passivity or by design. Having your most efficient off the bounce threat go 2/8 from the field is not enough attempts. I want him shooting at least 15 every single night, and everyone else falling in line behind that, but I'm just not sure being an alpha dog is in his nature. Give him those extra 7 looks and he might end up 8/15 and you're in the ballgame.

Breakers obviously scouted Conklin well and then taught him a lesson. It was probably a mistake on the Crocs part to try to go through Conklin when he didn't have a matchup advantage like he normally does against NBL PFs.

Whenever Mickell Gladness is our key offensive weapon we are going to lose ball games.

This Perth game at home is a must-win in order to avoid a tailslide, as well as in terms of saving face with fickle fans and getting bums on seats.

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Ganymede 86  
Years ago

Breakers scouted Conklin well as Henare has coached him the last two years in NZNBL

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MACDUB  
Years ago

I really like Norton as a player. He will be a great PG in this league and at just 21(?) Could push for a Boomers spot or European league spot down the track.

Mick you got to remember the type of PGs he is going against...Wilbekin, Ced, Martin, Carson etc..very impressive PGs. I thought he held is own last night defensively as he always does.
Offense struggled but it is difficult when he is the only player on the Crocs at least trying to create. The others just sit on the perimeter.

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LC  
Years ago

Now that you mention it, I tend to agree with you Macdub in relation to Norton. I think people (including me) seem to forget how young he is and yet what a good job he does.

Too many passengers last night for the Crocs, especially with Conklin negated so effectively.

Breakers control the paint and Conklin in a solid victory

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fstos  
Years ago

Mick you got to remember the type of PGs he is going against...Wilbekin, Ced, Martin, Carson etc..very impressive PGs

MACDUB

I generally agree with your posts but Carson is neither impressive or a PG.

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KingJames  
Years ago

I really disagree with Nortons potential.

Europe - No way! Unless he has a Europe passport. even then he will be in some low league

Boombers - No way! Unless he is chosen to play in the C grade boomers team e.g. How Jervis played for them.

I think Daly is just as good as him. If you gave Daly the same minutes as Norton he would produce the same stats.

I am happy to be proven wrong about Norton

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MACDUB  
Years ago

KingJames,

We can agree to disagree.

People say the exact same thing about a guy like Greenwood and no one bats an eye lid, even though Greenwood isn't a true PG and hasn't shown any more than what Norton has.

Look back a few years ago and we were probably saying guys like Goulding, Gibson, Abercrombie, Crawford wouldn't do much..they turned out ok.

Carson might not be in the same vein as Ced and Wilbekin but the fact that he averaged 18ppg at ASU playing for a big d1 team suggests he can put the ball in the hoop and is a tough cover.

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