Head Coach Mike Kelly of the Taipans during the Round 5 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Cairns Taipans at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, November 9, 2018. (AAP Image/David Rowland) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Head Coach Mike Kelly of the Taipans during the Round 5 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Cairns Taipans at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, November 9, 2018. (AAP Image/David Rowland) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

No sign of a cure for Snakes

What is wrong with the Cairns Taipans?

That is what everyone is asking each other right now.

Well, obviously, there are a number of different issues when a basketball club cannot crack a win in 10 straight games.

But, watching on Friday night when Illawarra cruised to their second victory in the Far North this season, I realised the biggest issue was that a loss in Round 8 looks just like a defeat in Round 2 or 3 did.

It was like watching the same movie again.

The Snakes are losing the exact same way; almost nothing has changed from their first couple of losses to their ninth and 10th.

Without diving into the countless different types of statistics that are available, just going by what is in front of you on game night, it is the same problems that are leading to defeats.

The Snakes struggle to contain teams in defensive transition and when it turns into a half-court game, the opposing point guard is free to run his team and do what he likes, usually finding a good shot.

On the other end of the floor, it is Melo Trimble or bust, which is very easy to scout for, as Mitch Norton and Damian Martin showed on Sunday.

Why hasn't anything changed in the last month or so?

Is it a coaching failure - is rookie mentor Mike Kelly not making enough changes to the way his club plays?

 

 

 

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA — NOVEMBER 17: Mitch Young of the Taipans looks dejected after losing the round six NBL match between the Cairns Taipans and the Perth Wildcats at Cairns Convention Centre on November 17, 2018 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA — NOVEMBER 17: Mitch Young of the Taipans looks dejected after losing the round six NBL match between the Cairns Taipans and the Perth Wildcats at Cairns Convention Centre on November 17, 2018 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

 

 

Maybe so, but probably not.

Kelly was a defensive rock in his playing days and would be preaching defence every day to his squad.

Is his messaging not getting through to the players?

This is the most likely reason why the battling Taipans have not changed since their losing streak started.

Trimble has stated on several occasions how he wants to be a better defender, but has shown little sign of improvement.

It is unfair to single out Trimble, because he has teammates who don't show any interest in defence either.

But, as they say, he is the "head of the snake".

One positive out of last weekend's double defeat was the emergence of DJ Newbill as an on-court leader.

Alex Loughton and Lucas Walker carry the official leadership titles this season, but both have suffered injuries in the early part of the season and have not had the influence they would have liked.

The American two guard appeared to want to make a stand on both ends of the floor and worked tirelessly, despite the lopsided scorelines.

Loughton will always be the heartbeat of the team away from the court but if the Taipans can follow Newbill in the next few games, there will be something to build on.

News Corp Australia


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