Breakers look to get season back on track

By James Perry

With a two win, three loss record to start the ANBL season, the NZ Breakers are looking to get their season back on track this Friday night.

The North Shore club held a robust training session today, at times players and coaches let their frustration show.

Guard Jarrad Weeks says the frustration isn't so much that they have a losing record, but rather at how they're losing matches.

"We put on three and a half great quarters in Perth, which is really tough to do.  We were up 8-10 points twice over there which is really tough.  So we know we can do it."

Coach Kevin Braswell says his frustration at the players is they "have the chatter when it's needed.  When we need to make those necessary switches, or cover for a teammate who's got stuck in a screen."

The Breakers play the Cairns Taipans in Auckland on Friday. The Taipans are themselves looking for only their second win of the season and sit at the bottom of the league.

However Braswell is wary of what may lie in store for his charges.

"I actually don't think Cairns is the best team to play right now," he says, "It's like Sydney coming over here 0 and 2.  I mean I think we're more wary of it now, about how desperate a team will play."

He then hints that the Taipans could be playing with jobs on the line should they lose. 

"Anytime a team starts 1-5 there's always that chance where they may switch some things up."

Despite their league standing, the Taipans boast two of the league's leading guards, including Melo Trimble who leads the ANBL in points per game with 26.6 and former Breaker DJ Newbill averages 2.2 steals a match.

Weeks, who joined the Breakers in the off-season from the Taipans, says the situation doesn't reflect the quality of their side. 

"They're 1-4 right now, but that doesn't really show who they are," he says, "If [Newbill and Trimble are] scoring 60 out of the 80 points, they need more production out of the other guys." 

The Breakers are heading into the busy period of the season.  With 5 games over the course of the first month of the competition, they now face 6 games in the next 3 weeks. 

With the next round of FIBA World Championships qualifiers beginning at the end of that period, Braswell is hoping his side can get back to a winning record.

He says having the Tall Blacks away throughout the season has made preparations for his side difficult. 

"It's probably been our Achilles' heel from the beginning of the season.  It's a huge weekend, it'd be great to be 4-3 going into next weekend."

The busy schedule sees the Breakers with a tight turnaround this weekend. 

At the conclusion of the Taipans game at Spark Arena on Sunday, they board a plane on Saturday for a clash with the Bullets in Brisbane on Sunday.