Taipans look to bounce back in the Stoush
Brutal film reviews, tough training sessions - the Taipans are leaving no stone unturned as they look to bounce back in front of their home fans.
A woeful second quarter allowed the LaMelo Ball-led Illawarra Hawks to embarrass the Taipans last week 101-91, a loss which left the Snakes at 2-6 and second-last on the ladder.
It wasn't pretty, but second-year coach Mike Kelly, coaches and players have gone through the tape to work out what went wrong, and how to fix it ahead of Saturday night's blockbuster home clash with the Brisbane Bullets.
"There were some fundamental things that we didn't do as we wanted, and we're addressing it," Kelly said.
"Some of it led to breakdowns defensively, some of it led to offensive rebounds, and Illawarra exploited that.
"We're addressing that at practice, and we've had a really good few days. I'm feeling great about how we're addressing those things, and how the guys are stepping up and putting their best foot forward."
The first to be played under the official "Sunshine Stoush" banner, the battle with the Bullets will be a danger game, after Brisbane coughed up a massive lead against the Kings.
The Bullets fired 60 points in the first half, but managed just 25 in the second as the Kings romped to a 10-point win at Brisbane.
Brisbane won the first game between the Queensland rivals in round two by silencing the fast-starting Taipans in the second half.
Taipans co-captain DJ Newbill was a late scratching from the game, and Brisbane increased their pressure to keep the ball away from import guard Scott Machado.
"We led the game until half time, then they changed it up, they tried to keep me away from the ball so that's something we're going to try to not let them do," Machado said.
Kelly said he expected the Bullets to come out firing.
"Both teams come in fired up, fired up to play and fired up to establish themselves as a better team," Kelly said.
IT'S NOT MUST WIN, BUT IT'S A KEY GAME
Taipans coach Mike Kelly won't label tomorrow night's Sunshine Stoush as a must win, but it will be a key contest for a side looking for cohesion and results.
"This game is the most important game for us right now because it's right here in front of us," Kelly said. "After two losses in a row you want to get a win. I look at it as a must play well game, a must do the things we say we're going to do, and must stick to the game plan game. If we do that, we've got a good chance of … a win."