The Cairns Taipans kept their NBL finals hopes alive with a 3-point win over the New Zealand Breakers on Saturday night.
Some clutch penalty shooting by Torrey Craig allowed the Taipans to secure a fourth-quarter comeback victory in the final seconds.
Cairns Taipans 90
New Zealand Breakers 87
Hopes of making the finals for the Cairns Taipans might be on life support, but for the New Zealand Breakers it is time to start winning and arrest their form slide or kiss finals goodbye. Join The Roar for a live blog of this important fixture from 7:30pm (AEDT).
The Cairns Taipans, while still in with a mathematical chance of making the top four at season’s end are realistically not going to end up in the finals no matter how well they perform.
With the Adelaide 36ers and the Breakers ahead of them on the ladder and fighting for that final spot in the top four, they couldn’t afford the 36ers winning any more than two of their final six games to have a shot at the finals.
As already mentioned the New Zealand Breakers are in that duel for the fourth spot on the ladder. However, it was so much better for them just a few short weeks ago, before they began what has turned into a five-game losing streak. This has dropped them below the Illawarra Hawks, and critically the Adelaide 36ers to put them well out of the top four.
In fact, after the 36ers victory over Melbourne United last night, the Breakers are now two games behind them and starting to need some results going their way.
The Breakers last time on the floor was in part one of a trip to North Queensland, when they played the Townsville Crocodiles. They would though, as they have done a lot recently, leave the building empty handed and with their tails between their legs. A 23 point loss would have hurt big time, and just maybe it will spark the Breakers into gear.
The Taipans meanwhile, haven’t played a game in over a week. Their last meeting was a trip south to Melbourne, where they also copped a massive loss. In fact they went down by 30 points and did not even look like playing good quality basketball for one minute of the match.
They haven’t been in poor form though, only losing three of their last six.
The real battle in this match is of the point guards. Cedric Jackson and Markel Starks both have the potential to be two of the most exciting players in the competition and both point guards have massive roles for their respective teams.
Prediction: The Breakers have been in abysmal form lately and are watching their season slip away, however it seems like they won’t be able to do much about it when they face the Taipans. Expect Markel Starks to light up the Breakers poor defence.
Taipans by 13.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this important fixture in the back end of the NBL season from 7:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’re following along with the action.